For your further reading pleasure

INTERLUDES

CHAPTER ONE

The History of the Cosmos
The History of the Nebulans
King Ghidorah
Special Delivery
A Visit to Sagamihara

CHAPTER TWO

The Xians

CHAPTER THREE

"I AM GUDIS"
Cosmic Struggle

CHAPTER FOUR

Yongary
Kilaaks, Meet Gudis
Rematch: Ultraman Great vs
Gudis

Yokohama
Majin
Fire Rodan vs Megaguirus

CHAPTER EIGHT

Kagoshima Island
Media Play

CHAPTER 12

Guiron

CHAPTER 14

Garasharp

CHAPTER 16

The Gudis Gospel

CHAPTER 20

Blood Lines

OUT TAKES

Outpost #31
Kumasogami
Moon Base
Ishikagi Island
All Monsters Attack
Middle East Round-up
Megalon vs Z-Ton
Awakening
Cal-tiki
Sabotage
Gudis Meets Kubota
Nebulan Departure
Gudis Lives
Nebulan Viewpoint
Gigan vs. Megalon


*****

NECESSARY
BACKGROUND

TIME LINE
BIOGRAPHIES
OTHER REALMS AND
ITEMS OF INTEREST

*****
CONTRIBUTORS

*****
Discussion

INTRODUCTION

The universe. A never-ending expanse of space, a black canvas of stars stretching to the far reaches of eternity. Within this vast complex of gaseous clouds and burning infernos is a galaxy called the Milky Way. Dotted across its spiraling arms are planets that sustain life forms with the intelligence and means to travel to other worlds.

Several of these planets were dying and their inhabitants nearing extinction. It was their last hope to find a new home on which they could continue their existence. However, there were few places that could sustain life as they knew it because most of those worlds were also dying.

One life-giving blue globe nestled among its dead and dry relatives, still young on the astronomical time scale. This small shimmering light was life itself to those who gazed upon it, eagerly wishing to settle there, colonize and dominate it.

These pilgrims set out for their new home but conflicts soon ensued. They were not willing to share the Earth's bounty and would take this prize from anyone who possessed it, destroying those who would stand in their way.


No one believed that in the last half of the 19th Century, this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences even greater than mankind. With infinite complacency, they went about their affairs with no thought of space as a danger, or dismissed the very idea of life other than as they knew it as impossible.

At most, mankind fancied that there might be others like themselves, perhaps even inferior. Yet across the vast gulf of space, intellects vast and unsympathetic regarded the Earth with envious eyes and slowly and surely drew their plans against us. Early in the 20th Century came the great disillusionment.

-- H. G. Wells, THE WAR OF THE WORLDS Book One: The Coming of the Martians


"There have been key discoveries that suggest life is simple, straightforward and easy if you have the right conditions."

-- Bruce M. Jakosky, University of Colorado, American Astronomical Society


The mission of life for many would soon turn toward inter-galactic warfare, planetary domination and the ultimate battle for survival itself.

CHAPTER ONE

THE HISTORY OF THE COSMOS

One billion years ago in the Milky Way galaxy, a race of humanoid creatures known as the Millennians became the first sentient biological life. The Iron Empire, a vast civilization from the Orion system which was spreading across the universe, noticed that these creatures were not made of liquid metal as they were. As more planets were discovered to harbor organics, the Imperials declared war on them.

Millennia was destroyed by King Ghidorah and his fellow brute, Death Ghidorah. The Millennians were essentially split into rogue groups, surviving in large dome-like structures. Drifting through space, some would eventually be carried to our solar system.

A great war between the Millennians and those who would become known as the Cosmos (perhaps named for the great expanses of space they had crossed) began millions of years ago when the Millennians sought to reunite their splintered race, but as a collective. The Cosmos did not desire to forsake their individuality. They went on to colonize most of this section of the galaxy while the advocates of becoming 'one' continued cruising the universe, searching for members of their species more willing to reunite.

The highly intelligent and technologically advanced humanoid Cosmos came to Space Hunter M Nebula and advanced rapidly but neglected their new home which soon became a waste dump. Amongst the garbage were compounds that brought life to a new kind of creature that lived in, consumed and was in fact, sludge. Although it started out as only a number of small tadpoles, they eventually merged into a single giant monster dubbed Hedorah, one that not only ate the planet's pollution but spread its own toxic fumes, killing thousands.

Around 100,000,000 BC, the Cosmos set out to find a new home and discovered a world not unlike their own. They named it EARTH and created its first cities. The remaining Cosmos did manage to 'dispose' of the seemingly unstoppable Hedorah by capturing and imprisoning it on a comet but that was not the end of it. There were dozens more being born on the polluted planet and the noxious environment was killing off the Cosmos. In time, those who remained on Space Hunter died out.

As well as colonizing the Earth, the Cosmos also came to a planet they dubbed Mysteroid, a small orb located between Mars and Jupiter. They would become known as the Mysterians. The planet was almost wiped out before the cosmic terror that was Death Ghidorah turned its attention to the Earth. Despite these challenges, the Cosmos established new civilizations and became technologically advanced enough to use the Earth's very 'life force' to power their great cities.

65 million years ago, the Gudis arrived on Earth but was confronted by a creature that would come to be known as Mothra. Mothra Taros sacrificed itself to summon the Earth's energy to vanquish the monster. (see COSMIC STRUGGLE) Greatly impressed by Mothra's power against the Gudis, clones were created by the Cosmos.

When Death Ghidorah had wiped out almost all life on Mars, he came to Earth, literally sucking the life out of the planet. The guardians attacked the space monster, eventually entombing him in what would one day become Japan but not before he caused a mass extinction in which 70% of all life on the planet went extinct, including the dinosaurs. The few that survived (such as Godzillasaurus, Pteranodon rodan and Ankylosaurus) were safeguarded on the continent of Mu where the Cosmos had settled. They seeded the population with mutagens that would allow them to fight against both the Gudis and Death Ghidorah, should they ever return.

Due to the loss of weather control and the aftermath of Death Ghidorah, civilization declined. During the next thousands of years, the colonists revolted, wanting nothing to do with Space Hunter M or each other.

By 12,000 BC, the male-dominated Mu Empire wished to subjugate the various factions that had developed which divided the peoples in two: the Cosmos and the Muuvians. Many of the colonies and sects acquired guardian monsters of their own. Manda stood by the male-dominated Mu Empire while Mothra sided with the female-majority Cosmos. The Muuvians won the war, practically sending the Cosmos into hiding but their nation went through a civil war that split off Seatopia and Okinawa.

The Cosmos had managed to keep the Muuvians and Seatopians in check but after their own civil war, the two factions declared their independence. The Seatopians had become edgy, hidebound and mildly agoraphobic. Their giant protector, in the image of the Nebulan god Megalon, defended them from the once-great Mu Empire. Okinawa also severed relations with Mu. King Seesar would protect this new nation which wanted to develop its own culture.

The Cosmos males (Doubijin) and females (Shobijin) split into two separate societies when the males became hostile and militaristic towards the rapidly evolving human race. They created the black moth, Battra, to conquer the world and dominate the humans, believing themselves to be superior to all others on the planet. The females had developed their mental powers and magic while the males focused on advancing technology which could very nearly destroy the world itself. A war ensued in which the Cosmos would have been completely wiped out if not for Mothra.

The four cultures made peace but the Atlanteans sought to sever themselves from the mainland Cosmos and created the Gyaos to destroy their oppressors. They turned on their masters and began destroying them as well. The Atlanteans then developed a race of giant turtles called Gamera to stop the Gyaos but this effort failed to prevent the ravenous beasts from destroying the city-state. Much of Mu was also ruined by them before the two surviving Gameras forced the remaining Gyaos into hiding. His soul corrupted by the war, one of the terrapins was buried in the Arctic to learn humility. The other went into hibernation in the graveyard of Atlantis, the Marianas Trench, but should the Gyaos return, the guardians would awaken.

When several of the kingdoms rebuilt the weather control devices to bring some order back to their rapidly advancing settlements, Battra destroyed them, along with much of the Cosmos civilization. He was finally countered by the last remaining Mothra. The fighting was bringing ruin upon the planet itself so she locked the mighty creature away in the Arctic ice. The global temperature fluctuated dangerously with the destruction of the weather machines and plunged rapidly, causing an ice age. A great earthquake and flood destroyed the entire sub-continent of Mu and Atlantis sank beneath the waves, leaving Earth's first inhabitants to rebuild underground, under the sea or on the string of remaining islands where several dinosaurs and the remaining Cosmos took refuge.

They soon lost touch with their technology but on Infant Island where the last of the Cosmos race had taken refuge with the aging Mothra, the Shobijin created four genetically perfect foot-high women (the Elias) to serve as its avatars and be a 'telepathic interface' to the generations of Mothra yet to come. Just as Mothra herself is continuously rejuvenated in an unending cycle of birth, death and rebirth, so it is with the Shobijin. The Earth replenishes them so they can continue to pass down their legacy. Despite their size, they command attention and respect.

The current avatars are Moll and Lora. Belvera left Infant Island when her twin was accidentally killed, evil having been placed upon her soul. 'Untwinned', she is cynical of mankind but with Moll and Lora, they make up the Elias Triangle. The Shobijin to this day remain peace-loving shaman priestesses who are greatly opposed to violence by humans, having witnessed its effects first hand.

The Doubijin also left Infant Island. Over time and with great confidence in their accomplishments, they were able to extend their lifespan indefinitely through inborn powers and science. Their few surviving cities around the world became the earliest occupied by Man. Should one be fortunate enough to encounter a Doubijin, he would likely be a grumpy old sarcastic sage; a mean-spirited sensei. Much like 'small men' in human society, they are quicker to anger and eager to flaunt their power. The Doubijin went on to repopulate the surface world and their descendants became Man.

THE HISTORY OF THE NEBULANS

The Cosmos came to Space Hunter M Nebula and advanced technologically but neglected their new home which soon became a waste dump. Amongst the garbage were compounds that brought life to a new kind of creature that lived in, consumed and was in fact, sludge. Although it started out as only a number of small tadpoles, they eventually merged into a single giant monster dubbed Hedorah, one that not only ate the planet's pollution but spread its own toxic fumes, killing thousands.

Around 100,000,000 BC, the Cosmos set out to find a new home. Those remaining did manage to 'dispose' of the seemingly unstoppable Hedorah by capturing and imprisoning it on a comet but that was not the end of it. There were dozens more being born on the polluted planet. In time, the Cosmos on Space Hunter died off.

This turn of events meant that another highly intelligent species - insect-like creatures similar to the cockroaches of Earth who had been under the domination of the original, humanoid Cosmos - could now rise to their full potential. Unlike the race which would continue on as the Cosmos, they were able to survive the ruination of Space Hunter but it was a dying world that soon would not sustain ANY life.

The Nebulans built star ships with which to colonize the Earth, disguising themselves as humanoids until they could wipe out the native population and create a perfect world of peace and ecological balance. However, their arrival would be after Earth and Mysteroid had begun to write their own history.

KING GHIDORAH

Another galaxy, another time. A king ruled over his growing domain with an iron hand and little worry on his proud mind. His empire once promised universal prosperity and wealth but the Iron Empire had come under attack by an evil race of sentient biological organisms, systematically destroying every colony he governed one by one. Having never needed weapons before, the metallic beings had no way of fighting back. Only one hope remained for their salvation.

Blood samples were taken from several known biological organisms, including the invaders, and cloned and combined into a new artificial being. The creature was implanted with technological advances in pyrotechnics and energy absorption. This first born of a new legacy soon came to be known as Death Ghidorah. The beast was created to fight the unholy biological filth from which it was cloned but even its great power could not overcome their terrible forces.

A far greater instrument of war was needed, one that did not require a biological body to survive. One that could attack and kill any threat that dared challenge the Empire. One who was intelligent and strong enough to completely eradicate all biological civilization.

However, a great sacrifice would be required. The King knew that he was the only member of his race qualified to carry out this grave responsibility. With remorse but great respect, his best scientists combined his essence with the same biological material that had been used to create Death Ghidorah. But this time, a strategic gravity weapon and even more powerful energy absorbing capabilities were granted. As the monarch convulsed and screamed in pain and terror at the agonizing unnatural feelings tearing through him, he realized that this alliance of flesh and steel was one that would be unique, never before seen and never to be repeated.

One advantage that biological organisms held was that they could evolve and adapt to changing conditions, thus coming closer to perfection than ever before. Combined with the King's own incredible iron will and strength, a new beast was born in the fiery pits of his laboratories, one that would forever change the face of the universe. In one single act, trillions were damned to fall beneath the cold stare of a new king. Entire civilizations were destined to crumble under his taloned feet. The King of Terror had been born as King Ghidorah.

The invaders had nearly reached the Imperial capital when the two three-headed destroyers attacked. The pathetic forces were driven back by the ungodly combined strength of the King and his fellow brute. King Ghidorah then followed the creatures' cowardly retreat back to their home planet. In a matter of weeks, no man, woman or child of the Millennian race was left alive to tell the tale of what had transpired. Or so the Iron Empire believed.

But after his transformation, King Ghidorah gradually grew more and more hostile towards his own kinsmen. The biggest advantage of biological sentience was also its greatest disadvantage. For the entire universe, an eternal reign of terror and death had only just begun.

SPECIAL DELIVERY

King Karkaru felt a cold breeze on his back. He turned and saw an awkward-looking mechanical suit staring back at him. Anticipating this particular visitor, he smiled and invited the Mysterian into his quarters.

"It's hot as bloody hell here, even in this suit!" Henat complained.

"Indeed. But not hot enough if you happen to be a Kilaak. Did you bring those biological samples you promised?"

"Yes, they are right here," Henat replied, reaching into a compartment on the insulated suit and pulling out a silver tube. Karkaru took the object and inspected it. "Don't expose it to the heat for too long. You don't want it to sprout in the middle of your palace," Henat advised. Karkaru just smiled.

"Of course." His voice echoed eerily off the enclosing walls. Outside, lava spewed from the hundreds of active volcanos on Kilaak, resulting in a steady rain of molten rock.

"It is now time for me to go. I have a... uh, an appointment," Henat soon declared. Karkaru merely smiled in response, a bone-chilling expression that made Henat wish he had never come to this god-forsaken planet. He got up and stumbled out the portal in his bulky protective suit. Karkaru's smile disappeared when the air locks had shut. Pathetic fool! he thought. He really does think he is better than us. We will show him. We will show all of them...

Henat was not trustworthy, of course. He merely joined the side which paid the best. Secrets, to him, were meaningless. Karkaru pressed a nearby button and a force field bubble surrounded him. His shield, and those all around the buildings, protected him from the boiling magma raining down in tiny drops as he walked outside. Heat was essential to the Kilaaks but too much of it was just as bad as not enough. No type of metal could survive contact with lava for long, not even the Kilaaks.

He took the biologicals to the lab and felt a blast of cool air as he stepped inside. Since the area was at approximate Earth temperature, its occupants wore protective body warmers to keep from changing back to their inert, metallic slug-like forms. Karkaru pulled one on before closing the door behind him. A Kilaak woman in a blue chain mail uniform quickly approached. He gave her the tube which she immediately took back to her work station. The warriors, he knew, would be completed soon.

The Kilaaks had once before attempted to take control of the Earth. Karkaru had remained on their home world while his wife led an invasion force to the blue planet. Their plan nearly worked but they had not counted on the strong will of the human beings. His wife and all her associates were exposed to unsuitable temperatures and the mission never got further than the Earth's solitary moon.

Karkaru was still enraged by this but there was nothing he could do but wait until the scientists completed their work with the warriors. The biological samples sent by the Mysterians were not for them but for a far darker purpose none of the others were yet aware of. He smiled to himself. The great creature King Ghidorah had been lost on Earth but that didn't mean he was gone for good. Soon, the Destroyer of Worlds would be resurrected into a far greater and more powerful form.

A VISIT TO SAGAMIHARA

Everyone in the small town in Kanagawa Prefecture was buzzing with excitement. Not only was a large area of land being prepared as the future site of a new shopping mall but a seemingly ancient statue had been unearthed. It was hoped that the ambitious development would help stimulate the depressed local economy.

News spread quickly of the miraculous find, garnering the attention of a wealthy industrialist and artifact collector from New York City, Richard Cromley. He flew to Sagamihara aboard his private Lear jet within 24 hours of the discovery and requested a meeting with the Mayor, Isao Ogawa. Prior to his arrival, one of the magistrate's assistants voiced concern over the situation.

"Sir, do you think this is wise?"

"Is what wise, Kasuke?"

"Meeting with this American, this Mister Cromley..."

"Why would it not be? He has offered a staggering amount of money for the artifact. Our local schools, our hospital and fire department are all in dire need of funds at this time. Mister Cromley's money will be a blessing to us, Kasuke. Besides, this has already been decided upon by the Municipal Assembly of which you are a member yourself. Why the sudden doubt now?"

"It has come to my attention, sir, that many of the townsfolk are not happy with this decision."

"What? Why wouldn't they be? This is for the city's and their benefit."

"They feel that the statue should be either left where it is and declared a landmark or moved to an institute or museum where all could behold and appreciate it."

"I can see and understand their point of view but do they not understand the economic situation we are in?"

"They do, sir, but they still wish the statue to remain in Japan, regardless."

"It is not my wish to anger or upset the people. This will help them and the town. My decision is made."

"Even if it costs you the next election?"

"What? Surely you can't be serious, Kasuke!"

"There has been talk, sir... This situation could either make or break you in the public eye." Another of the Mayor's advisers entered the office with a quick bow.

"Sir, Mister Cromley has arrived," he informed them. Mayor Ogawa seemed hesitant but ordered that he be shown in. A tall dark-haired American in an expensive-looking Armani suit stepped into the room, bowed and extended his hand. Directly behind him was another American who carried a large briefcase.

"A pleasure to meet you at last, Mister Mayor."

"The pleasure is all mine, Mister Cromley. Please sit," Ogawa smiled as he shook his hand and motioned toward a low table laid out with refreshments.

"If you don't mind, I'd like to get right down to business. Are you ready to close the deal?" Ogawa remained silent as if unsure of what he should say. "Is something wrong, Mayor Ogawa?"

"Well, there have been concerns expressed by the townsfolk over the decision I have made, Mister Cromley. It could apparently adversely affect whether or not I remain as Mayor of our town..."

"Ah, I see. Well, I came prepared for some possible bumps in the road, sir." Cromley gestured for the man who accompanied him to approach the Mayor's desk. He placed the briefcase down and opened it. "Double what I originally offered you before. What do you think of that?" Cromley asked with a sly grin as Ogawa stared in disbelief.

"But that would make it over four million yen!" he exclaimed.

"What? Is it not enough? Fine. I can triple it if need be," Cromley replied nonchalantly, taking a seat in one of the visitor's chairs in front of the desk. The Mayor's eyes were as big as saucers. "Trust me, Mister Mayor. Whatever the concerns of the common folk, the things that you could do for them and this town with this money will more than make up for it. And more to the point, you don't have any other options available."

"How do you know that?", Ogawa asked nervously.

"I have my sources. I know that you recently proposed a merger with the town of Yokosuka to try and help stabilize your city's economy, a plan that failed, from what I was told. Your city's budget has been stretched hopelessly thin. So much so that you are going to run out of money before you can even get the roads and utilities run to this new mall being built." After a long moment of silence, Ogawa finally made his decision.

"We have a deal."

"Sir?" Kasuke hoped to say something first.

"No arguments, Kasuke. My decision is final."

"Excellent!" Mister Cromley beamed.


CHAPTER TWO

THE XIANS

The Xian sub-Controller stood looking out into the depths of space, the towering window casting him as a silhouette against its starry background. Ken'trus stared at the millions of stars twinkling in the infinite blackness but his eyes were focused on a single point of faint light. That cosmic speck beyond the far-stretching chain of asteroids which glowed brighter than its neighbors was all that occupied his mind.

The sound of rustling leather echoed through the room as he folded his arms. The time has come, he thought. The hour of restitution had arrived and it was only a matter of time before the Xians would wreak vengeance upon all who defied them. No longer would they wait in hiding. No longer would they keep silent but boldly and with unmatchable power, they would triumph, crushing their adversaries with an iron fist.

The whispering of a door opening and closing brought Ken'trus out of his reverie. He turned as a slightly smaller Xian stepped into the faint light cast by the window and handed Ken'trus a small, flat silver electronic pad - a schedule - reporting on the day's work. The Controller gestured with his left arm and the wall lighting increased its illumination. He knew that the lights, which were controlled by a computer, would react to his thoughts alone but out of habit, he would often make such gestures as if to signal a command. He peered at the pad through his visor.

"Project X is finished," Ken'trus said without looking up. There was no response. The Controller turned to the other Xian whose face showed uneasiness and concern. "It is finished?" he asked.

"Not quite. It is slightly behind schedule. Genetic engineering, bio-technology, brain wave programming - this takes time but it will be operational on schedule."

"I certainly hope you are right, Rentis." He turned back to the window. "Everything we have accomplished, everything we have planned, depends on timing. If you are late in delivering Project X, I will not hesitate to replace you."

"Sir, I assure you that Kaiju X will be operational in time for the invasion. I swear my life on it.

"I intend to hold you to that, Rentis." The door slid open behind them. "Now go."

"Yes, Controller." Rentis turned and walked out, the door closing as Ken'trus went to his desk and sat down in his sleek black chair.

That Rentis he thought. He shouldn't even be here. He is the son of a traitor, Miss Namikawa. If it had not been for his great skills, he would have been terminated. Perhaps he should have been anyway... The Controller held the pad up again and reviewed the list. Everything was on schedule. It was only a matter of time before the Xians would exact vengeance on their brothers, control all monsters and conquer the Earth. It was only a matter of time.


CHAPTER THREE

"I AM GUDIS"

I AM GUDIS, HARBINGER OF SORROW
NOTHING WILL REMAIN WHEN COMES THE MORROW
YOU PRAY FOR DEATH WITH A LABORED BREATH
AS CITIES CRUMBLE AND WORLDS TREMBLE

THE UNIVERSE CRIES AS ALL HOPE DIES
FOR GOOD OR EVIL, IT MATTERS NOT
ALL THAT LIVES WILL KNOW THE MISERY I HAVE WROUGHT
WHEN I COME FOR YOU, YOU WILL KNOW THE END IS NEAR
I COME TO LAY WASTE TO ALL YOU HOLD DEAR

BODIES FLOATING IN RIVERS OF BLOOD
DESTROYER OF GALAXIES, I HAVE THUSLY BEEN DUBBED
I AM UNSTOPPABLE, I AM INVINCIBLE
MY POWER WITHOUT QUESTION IS UNFATHOMABLE

I HAVE DOMINATED ALL FROM THE DAWN OF TIME
MY VIRUS INFESTS YOU, YOUR SOUL WILL BE MINE
NOTHING THAT EXISTS CAN WITHSTAND MY MIGHT
YOUR HEART WILL QUAKE AND QUIVER WITH FRIGHT

I AM THE ALPHA
I AM THE OMEGA
I AM GUDIS!

COSMIC STRUGGLE

The Mesozoic Era, Cretaceous Period: 65 million years B.C. Dawn.

In this primordial land, something terrible had risen with the sun. From a volcano, an evil not of this Earth came forth to ravage all that it beheld. Anything and everything flees in terror at the mere approach of this horrific invader. Its ominous form looms over the landscape like a demonic shadow as it moves through the jungle.

The devourer of worlds, the Gudis, was here. Since its awakening, it had killed whatever it got its tentacles on. Many dinosaurs, dwarfed by the Gudis in size, were crushed in its coils, including imposing carnivores that had grown accustomed to being top predators rather than prey.

Here, the Gudis had also found some strange worm-like creatures that represented an energy source he had never encountered before. As he came over a ridge, he spotted what appeared to be a huge cocoon spun into a copse of trees. Gudis sensed the same mystical energy emanating from it and slithered forward, determined to crush it and whatever was inside. As he advanced, half a dozen Mothra larvae moved in from all sides and began to spray silk at the Gudis. The cocoon was on the verge of hatching and they had to buy just a little more time.

Gudis unleashed a volley of eye beams, scattering the larva. Three of them moved in from behind, spraying their silk once more as two others sprang off the ground, launching themselves at the Gudis' trunk-like body. They bounced off harmlessly as he laughed. Reaching down, he wrapped a tentacle around one larva while blasting another through the air with his eye beams. As he began to bring the captive up to slam it into the ground, the sixth one, which had positioned itself on a nearby ledge, bounded through the air, slamming directly into the Gudis' face, causing him to drop his intended victim.

Angry, the Gudis turned his wrath into a volley of beams, sending the attacker crashing down in the distance. He then turned to blast the others that were trying to spray him from behind. Two larvae leapt at Gudis, smacking directly into the back of his head as another quickly positioned itself in front of him. Gudis fell forward, landing on top of the larva that had tripped him. Three others moved in fast, shooting silk into his eyes and temporarily blinding him.

As Gudis righted himself and dug at the webbing, all of the larvae fired their silk at once, hoping to entangle him before he could clear his vision. Gudis sent forth a seemingly endless torrent of beams, ripping through the webbing and sending the larvae flying in all directions. He picked one up and began to crush it in his coils as the larva squealed in agony. Another wounded but still mobile grub rushed in, trying to get Gudis to drop his prey. The monster threw the crushed body aside and hit his attacker with a point-blank beam blast, blowing it in half. Spinning around, his tentacles grabbed three more. He began to slam one up and down on the ground repeatedly, beating it to death while he slowly pulled and ripped another in two. The third was incinerated by a beam shot.

Something within the cocoon began to stir as Gudis went after the final larva. It quivered with fear but knew that it must protect the entity within. Barely able to move, it tried to shoot a silk strand at the Gudis. The monster began blasting it about the ground. He could have just killed it but was simply tormenting it instead. The Gudis slithered up to the comatose form and picked it up as a bright, blinding light emanated from the cocoon. He turned to see a shape rising out of the casing and unfold a pair of massive wings. As the light dissipated, an imago Mothra hovered above the now empty shroud. Its wings were a mixture of brown, red and green, as if mirroring the jungle that was its home. Gudis snarled as he looked upon its strength and beauty. Then he heard a voice inside his head.

Put... the child... down! the Mothra commanded.

"And if I don't?" the Gudis vocalized. He was hit with a beam from the imago's belly that sent him smashing into a hillside, causing him to drop the larva. The Gudis shrieked as he realized that something was very wrong. His body wasn't absorbing the energy that had just hit him. The imago flew over to the larva, fluttering a glowing powder from its wings to heal its wounds.

You must leave now! Mothra told her.

No! I want to stay and help you fight this monster!

By staying, you only offer yourself as a distraction for this killer. My sister, you have suffered enough. Please do as I ask! The larva reluctantly crawled away. The Gudis looked up at the imago rising majestically into the sky.

I am Mothra Taros and your path of destruction ends here!

"Oh, does it now? I am supposed to believe that YOU will kill me?" the Gudis mocked. "I am Gudis, destroyer of worlds! I go where I please and I kill whom I please. I cannot be stopped!" he bellowed.

We shall see... Mothra hit him with another beam blast that put him down again, roaring in pain.

"Two can play that game!" he sneered and returned fire but Taros dodged, circling around to Gudis' side and slamming hard into the monster, knocking it over. Gudis fell but sent his tentacles forth to grab Mothra who blasted at them with his beam. As Taros turned to get out of range, one wrapped around his thorax, swinging him around and slamming him into the ground again and again. Mothra managed to fire directly into Gudis' face, causing further agony. When the Gudis was finally able to look up, Mothra was carrying a huge boulder, diving in to release it like a bomb.

The Gudis went down again as the imago rained down more beam blasts from above. The monster uprooted a huge tree and threw it like a javelin but Taros dodged, only to get hit by Gudis' eye beams as this was merely a distraction. He crashed down hard as Gudis advanced, tentacles snaking toward his prone form. In an instant, Mothra Taros was enveloped in the coils which began to constrict and crush him. He retaliated by blasting the Gudis at point-blank range. Howling in pain, Gudis fired, frying Mothra's mandibles and blowing off one of his antennae. Taros got off another blast and layers of flesh were practically seared from the Gudis' body.

Gudis' beams sliced Taros' left wing off but a return blast blew away part of his face and head, causing further shrieks of pain. The Gudis then punched one of its tentacles through Taros' underbelly and out his back. A blast from Mothra literally gutted the monster as it vomited up blood.

"It doesn't matter what you do to me, insect! You will have to blast me to atoms before I will let you go!" the Gudis snarled defiantly, choking on his own fluids as he tightened the coils, crushing the imago's insides.

Then that is what I will do! Mothra was fighting desperately against the pain. He focused what consciousness remained and his body began to glow a bright green. The light and energy radiating off Mothra Taros' body began to intensify. Soon, it was so bright that the Gudis could not look directly at the imago with the one good eye that still remained on his mauled face. Still, he did not let go.

"What are you?!" he shrieked.

I am Gaia's champion and the defender of life. And you... are finished! The energy that had been building within the imago exploded in unbelievable power.

"No! This cannot be! No... no... NOOOO!" the Gudis bellowed as the blast went off in his face. A small mushroom cloud spread from where Mothra and the Gudis had fought. All creatures throughout the jungle ran for cover from the impending shock wave. When it finally passed, there was no sign of Mothra Taros or the Gudis.

The sole surviving larva crept back to the area, having watched the battle from afar. She chirped sadly for the loss of her brother and looked up into the heavens above. Mothra had sacrificed his own life to destroy the Gudis but the demon was not dead. With its physical body destroyed, the Gudis had been forced to revert back to its viral form which now floated back into the depths of space from whence it came. The Gudis would not return to Earth for another 65 million years.


CHAPTER FOUR

YONGARY

At the Nebulans' secret underground bunker near Okinawa where Anguirus' corpse was being studied, something huge suddenly smashed its way inside, sending the staff fleeing for their lives. The massive Lion God, King Seesar, reached in, grabbed the body and slung it over his shoulder, backing out the way he had come. A frantic call was made to headquarters and Kubota soon joined Chairman Fumio in the central control room.

"We have just received word that King Seesar has taken Anguirus' body and are currently tracking the beast now, sir."

"Get me a visual immediately!" the Chairman ordered. A viewscreen flickered on, showing King Seesar moving across the countryside with his lifeless cargo in tow.

"Did the Okinawans awaken him?" Fumio asked.

"They must have but as to why and its reason for taking Anguirus' body is yet unknown," Kubota informed him as they watched King Seesar moving along at quite a rapid pace despite the burden he was carrying.

"But that is impossible! Only a direct descendant of the Azumi Royal Family can awaken him, and that's only if his tomb is opened externally."

"I know. But nonetheless, it has happened," Kubota assured him. Suddenly, something interrupted King Seesar's progress. "Look!" the Nebulan stammered, pointing at the screen as a massive form erupted from beneath the ground. Rising up and covered in soil and roots was the behemoth Yongary, standing directly in Seesar's path. The towering beast walked up to him, roaring and bellowing in anger. "Yongary?"

"Yes. And it appears that he is going to take care of our thief for us," Fumio surmised as they continued watching. Yongary was now directly in front of King Seesar, dwarfing him horribly as the 500 foot monstrosity raised his gigantic right arm to presumably pound Seesar into oblivion. But as he looked down and locked eyes with Seesar, he suddenly stopped. The two kaiju stared at each other for what seemed an eternity until, finally, one of them moved. Yongary began shaking and quivering uncontrollably. Fumio looked closer at the screen, seeing in his eyes an unmistakable emotion: unbridled terror. Yongary spun around and ran away as fast as he could, literally screaming, and kept going until he disappeared from sight. King Seesar started moving again as Fumio and Kubota looked at each other.

KILAAKS, MEET GUDIS

The Okinawan volcano was of great interest to others besides the Gudis. The Kilaaks had picked up its eruption on their monitoring equipment and soon came to investigate.

If you're trying to sneak up on me, you're doing a piss poor job. Your ship emits a low frequency hum that kinda kills stealth if you know what I mean. An autistic marching band of ferrets would have a better chance of ambushing me Gudis spoke telepathically without turning around or breaking stride as a Kilaak ship approached him from behind.

"So the mighty Kilaaks have arrived. To what do I owe the honor?" Gudis asked with a hint of sarcasm as the FLAMING FURY came into range where they could communicate vocally.

"I am King Karkaru of the Kilaaks and have come to discuss something with you," the alien announced over his ship's external speaker.

"So you've come to talk? Meh, talking is no fun. You know what I think would be fun? Ripping into your little ship like a sardine can and gobbling you up like hors d'oevres," Gudis replied with a sickening grin. Aboard the ship, some Kilaaks had looks of utter terror on their faces but Karkaru remained calm in the presence of this fearsome monster.

"An amusing notion but I don't think you will find any nutrition in trying to infect and eat our metallic bodies," the Kilaak leader informed him.

"Eh, probably not. But it would still be a lot of fun trying," Gudis snickered. Slightly annoyed but not deterred, Karkaru continued the formalities.

"You could try to consume us but then we, of course, would have no choice but to defend ourselves." Karkaru signaled a Kilaak with a slight hand gesture. The ship's primary weapon activated, charged up and blasted the nearby volcano, causing it to surge to life more violently than before. Gudis became transfixed as he stared at the now raging eruption.

"You liked that, did you?"

"Most certainly!"

"You pretty much eat up that kind of energy like candy, don't you? Imagine a land from one horizon to the other on every single continent. A massive molten slag heap that could sustain you indefinitely."

"I'm listening..."

"There is just one thing standing in our way, however..."

"You want King Ghidorah's head on a platter," Gudis finished, having read Karkaru's thoughts.

"Yes." Gudis stood for a moment with his right hand up to his chin in an exaggerated thinking man's pose as he deliberated. Aboard his ship, Karkaru waited patiently for his reply.

"One... or all three?" Gudis replied with a devilish grin that Karkaru shared.

REMATCH: Ultraman Great vs Gudis

Gudis was traveling across Okinawa when something suddenly appeared in front of him with a blinding flash. Standing before him was his former arch nemesis, Ultraman Great. His appearance, for the most part, was the same, other than it looked like he had bulked up considerably since their last encounter.

"Well, well, well! What have we here? You showed up a lot quicker than I expected. How are you, my old friend?" Gudis snarled, his demonic voice dripping with venom and hatred.

"It has been a long time, Gudis, but do we really need to waste time talking? When it came to me and you, it was never about words," Ultraman proclaimed as he studied Gudis closely.

"Indeed... it never was," the monster hissed, suddenly firing a volley of spiral red eye beams at the silver defender who barely managed to leap over them in time. Ultraman landed directly behind Gudis and heaved back as a large blue sphere of energy appeared between his palms. When Gudis turned around, it hit him hard in the chest, pushing him back as his feet skidded across the ground, digging huge furrows in the earth. When he finally came to a stop, he looked up at Ultraman and curled his fierce jaws in what for him passed as a smile.

"Thank you," he said calmly as his eyes began to glow the same color as the attack that just hit him. Ultraman crossed his arms in front of himself, throwing up a force field as Gudis fired a pair of blue energy beams. They struck and dissipated as the hero brought his arms back down to fire a volley of blasts from his hands in rapid succession. Gudis walked towards Ultraman, taking in shot after shot. Again, his eyes glowed with the absorbed energy. The Ultra side-stepped the returned beams and rushed in for a more physical exchange.

The two titans tried to land punches but kept blocking each other's swings. It was Ultraman who finally connected with an uppercut that sent Gudis flying backwards and landing hard on the back of his head and neck, flipping all the way over and ending up face first on the ground. He slowly got back up with a genuine look of surprise on his face.

"It has been a long time, Gudis, and I have grown far stronger since the last time we faced one another."

"As have I," Gudis growled as he charged forward with an angry roar, attacking with his fists and a swarming mass of tentacles. Ultraman moved with incredible speed and reflexes but had to back away from the furious assault. Realizing that he was overpowered, Ultraman ducked low and delivered a sweep kick to Gudis' legs. The mutation hit the ground, sending tremors through the earth. Ultraman tried to pounce on Gudis but his tentacles shot forth to wrap around him. With this distraction, Gudis fired his crimson eye beams which Ultraman blocked with his shield but as he did so, some of Gudis' tentacles reached around from behind and encircled his legs. By the time he realized what was happening, it was too late.

Gudis jerked Ultraman up off the ground by his legs, lifting him high in the air and violently slammed him back down as if he were cracking a whip. He then quickly reached down, grabbed him by his face, picked him up and drilled him back into the ground head first. If not for Ultraman's highly developed physiology, the attack would have broken his neck. He then received a stiff kick to his rib cage, sending him flying and crashing back down with a heavy thud.

Ultraman fought the pain wracking his body as he struggled to his feet in time to see Gudis charging again. He side-stepped and then cart-wheeled behind him, wrapping his arms around the monster's waist as he threw him backwards with an earth-shaking release suplex. The monster landed on the back of his head and neck. As he got back up, Ultraman went into a spin, hitting his ancient enemy with a series of roundhouse punches, back-hands and tornado kicks, backing him up with the sheer force of his blows. He focused on Gudis' head since the rest of his body was now covered in armor and spikes and seemed quite impervious to physical damage.

Ultraman capped his offensive by unleashing his ultimate finisher, the Burning Plasma blast. The devastating energy reeled off his forearms, nailing Gudis at point blank range. The wily creature hit the ground and rolled until coming to a stop in a heap. Ultraman walked over, preparing to hit him again. Suddenly, Gudis jumped up, giving him a straight jab to his metallic face and putting him flat on his back.

"Thanks for the pick-me-up," Gudis said as he returned the attack. Ultraman threw up his force field but still got thrown hard into the side of a mountain by the sheer force of the blast. The timer on his chest began to blink as Gudis advanced once more, firing his eye beams against the field that had already been weakened by the returned Burning Plasma. He finally breached it, resulting in a mighty explosion. The dazed and disoriented Ultra didn't have time to react before Gudis launched himself through the air and turned in mid-leap to let his spiked carapace smash hard into Ultraman's face and chest, leaving him groggy and on the ground. Gudis reached down, grabbing hold of his chest. One hand held him up as Gudis repeatedly pummeled his head with his other fist.

"Insect! Do you not know what you face? Do you not know who you face!?" Gudis scowled, slamming his fist into Ultraman's head with such power and ferocity that he dented it. He then hit him with a point-blank blast of his eye beams, putting him down again. As Ultraman attempted to rise, Gudis doubled him back over with a kick to the gut. He casually flipped overhead, turned his back, hunkered down and wrapped his arms around the wobbly Ultra's waist. With a powerful heave, Gudis spiked the silver hero's head violently into the earth. His entire body bounced and recoiled from the impact of the pile driver. Ultraman was practically comatose as his limp form crashed to the ground. Gudis nonchalantly walked up and grabbed him by the throat. A blue ooze was seeping from a crack in the crushed part of Ultraman's skull. Several of his biological and synthetic internal organs were damaged and failing, not to mention the countless broken bones he had suffered.

"The mighty Ultraman Great... beaten at last. Ignorant fool! The only reason you defeated me 17 years ago was because of the distraction caused by your human host when I absorbed you. Otherwise, you would have died then! Did you really think you could stand against me now with my newfound power?!" Gudis' eyes began to glow a bright red as he prepared to fire his eye beams once more which would surely finish Ultraman off in his present condition.

Ultraman Great's timer reached zero, resulting in his physical body dematerializing and vanishing before Gudis could blast him. The brief time limit that is normally an Ultra's bane in battle had saved his life. Gudis howled in fury at the missed opportunity to finish off this old adversary but soon decided that it did not matter. After the damage and injuries he had sustained, it was unlikely that Ultraman Great would ever fight again. Gudis composed himself and resumed his trek across the Okinawan countryside with but one evil and sadistically gleeful thought running through his mind:

"Who's next?"

YOKOHAMA

It was nightfall as King Ghidorah stomped through the city, laying waste to all that stood before him. His power and hatred were unparalleled and all that lived would feel his wrath as he loosed a series of beams from his three maws, obliterating everything in sight.

But as he walked through the city streets, something caught his attention. It looked as if something had already caused major devastation. To his right about a thousand meters away, sitting in part of a smashed building like it was an easy chair was Gudis. He held the ripped-off top of another building in his hand which contained dozens of people, some alive, some dead. He was grabbing handfuls of them and popping them into his mouth as if he were eating popcorn. The hapless humans screamed in terror as they were scooped up. Taking notice of Ghidorah, he lifted his head up and stopped chewing long enough to wave at the three-headed menace slowly walking toward him.

Gotta admit, you put on one heck of a show he spoke telepathically as Ghidorah heard a deep booming voice inside his heads.

"You look like you're enjoying yourself," Ghidorah grunted in kaiju-speak.

"And why wouldn't I be? I'm kicking back, enjoying a little snack, watching you wreak death, chaos and destruction. What's not to like? All I need now is a beer and I'm good to go. Oh, wait a minute... Is that a brewery over there?" Gudis asked as he looked over Ghidorah's right wing. "Listen. If you can just leave that standing, it would be just swell, you know?" Gudis quipped as Ghidorah turned one of his heads toward the brewery and then back at the Gudis with a cocked eyebrow.

Is this creature insane or what? he thought to himself.

"Yes, very much so. You should try it sometime. It's a lot of fun!" the Gudis spoke out as Ghidorah realized that he must have read his thoughts.

"You really find yourself amusing, don't you?" Ghidorah hissed.

"Well, if you're going to be a party pooper, I suppose we should get the obligatory threats and posturing out of the way," Gudis grumbled with a sigh as he rose up, tossing the building chunk aside. The scant few human survivors still inside screamed as it crashed to the ground.

King Ghidorah seemed to recognize parts of the Gudis' make-up: the protruding spikes and oddly familiar head that was an amalgam of Anguirus and King Seesar. Gudis was huge at a towering 100 meters but still dwarfed by the immense 200-meter space dragon who sensed great power and great evil, despite Gudis' smaller stature. The two juggernauts eyed each other cautiously.

"We meet at last, King of Terror. I must admit, I am actually an aficionado of yours. All that glorious death and destruction that you have caused. It brings a tear of joy to my eye just thinking about it," Gudis said in his natural demonic tone. Ghidorah remained wary, wondering if this beast came to fight or flatter him.

"It's also good to see that you have finally grown a backbone and become a free agent again. You, as the lap dog of the Kilaaks, was downright disgraceful and insulting," Gudis snapped, referring to Ghidorah's battle with the Kilaaks and the Nebulans. If Ghidorah was not angry before, he was now.

Who was this wretch who dared to speak to him in such a manner!?

"Under different circumstances, I could have seen us as allies, but alas, that cannot be, for the Earth is mine to do with as I please. I'm afraid that you would just be in the way; a loose cannon that I cannot afford to allow roaming unchecked. I had eventually planned on wiping out all the other alien races but I suddenly realized that the Kilaaks' plans for Earth suit me perfectly. I don't even have to try to control or infect any of them. The molten volcanic mass that they will turn this planet into is perfect for me to feed upon. I'll simply stand back and let them do all the work and move in when the time is right. Of course, that cannot happen if you kill them first," Gudis snarled.

Ghidorah had heard enough and with a shrill cackle, he blasted Gudis with beams from all three of his head. He went flying backwards, plowing through several buildings and hit the ground, rolling before finally coming to a stop.

The space dragon moved in quickly. Gudis got up just in time to be kicked in the face by one of his massive feet, putting him down once more. Ghidorah then reached down, slamming all three of his heads upwards into Gudis' body, sending him flying again. He landed on and smashed down through the top of a tall skyscraper, reducing it to rubble.

Dazed, Gudis dug himself out of the debris as Ghidorah blasted him but this time, he punched his fists into the concrete in an attempt to slow the backward push of Ghidorah's beams. When he finally stopped firing, Gudis, still in a kneeling position, let loose his own eye rays at the triple-domed destroyer, amalgamated with the energy Ghidorah had just hit him with. As expected, Ghidorah's crimson shield appeared, deflecting the attack. Gudis quickly realized that a beam exchange between them would be pointless so he got physical and leapt high into the air, dodging another volley.

In mid-air, Gudis began to twist and coil as he got his body as compact as possible to use Anguirus' carapace slam. Ghidorah broke off the beam barrage and looked up as the flying wrecking ball landed right on top of him. He staggered back slightly from the impact and Gudis quickly capitalized on his brief loss of balance and charged, punching and kicking with all the strength he could muster.

With Ghidorah teetering, Gudis was able to pull off a scissor kick as he literally ran up onto Ghidorah's torso to connect on his center head. One back flip uppercut kick and a second lunge later, Gudis managed to land a missile drop-kick as well but Ghidorah refused to fall.

He tried a point-blank eye beam blast but Ghidorah just absorbed the energy and fired it back as he finally regained his footing, reaching down towards the Gudis with his jaws snapping. Retaliating quickly, Gudis put a solid right hook to Ghidorah's right head directly between the eyes while blasting the face of the center one. He wasn't quick enough to stop the left head as it opened its jaws wide and clamped down directly onto his head. Ghidorah then picked him up and slammed him down hard, face first into the ground.

As Gudis tried to rise, Ghidorah used his electricity wing attack, sending him into the base of a huge building at least three times his size. Gudis sprang up quickly and blasted the ground where Ghidorah stood, tripping him up for a brief moment. When he finally steadied himself, he discovered that Gudis had uprooted the 300-meter structure with his freakish strength and launched it like a javelin.

Ghidorah went down hard as Gudis bounded into the air, attempting to land on top of him but at the last second, one of Ghidorah's heads lashed out, striking him in mid-air with an uppercut directly to his chin. Gudis landed head first almost half a mile away with crippling force.

The space dragon took to the air, raining down one beam barrage after another as Gudis was forced to one knee but still drank in the energy. As Ghidorah drew closer, he began condensing and collecting the gathered power between his hands. When he was practically on top of him, Gudis hurled a massive energy ball directly into his chest, It did no damage but the impact was enough to bring the winged destroyer crashing down.

While still on the ground, Ghidorah raised one of his heads up, only to have it hit with an electrical tower that Gudis had ripped up and was brandishing like a club. When he tried to swing it again, two of the heads latched onto it and began pumping out massive amounts of energy.

"What? You're trying to overload me? Two can play that game," Gudis growled as he started an energy feed of his own through his hands on the other end. The tower began to super heat and turned red-hot. The two forces continued to build and push against one another until they became unstable, resulting in an explosion that obliterated the now white-hot tower and sent both kaiju flying in opposite directions. As Gudis groggily pulled himself up, he got slammed into head on by Ghidorah who had gone airborne.

The King of Terror took Gudis high into the sky, then abruptly changed direction as they both shot back down towards the Earth below. Ghidorah drilled Gudis into the center of the city with earthquake force, making a huge impact crater.

Suddenly, tentacles sprouted from Gudis' sides and began to wrap around and entangle Ghidorah in their constricting coils. As he rose back up, he heaved with all his might and judo-tossed Ghidorah through the air. The space dragon crashed down and leveled several city blocks in the process. Ghidorah pushed himself up off the ground using his anti-gravity powers but Gudis landed on his back, unleashing his tentacles as both monsters spiraled and spun through the air. Ghidorah tried to gain altitude but lost control and they both crashed to the ground, their bodies digging a massive furrow through the city as they went down through the street, sewer system and into the bedrock itself.

Deep within the enormous trench their bodies had dug, Gudis was on top of Ghidorah who was buried and wrapped in a writhing sea of tentacles, completely immobilizing him. Ghidorah could feel the invading presence of the Gudis as it began to infest and taint his DNA.

Gudis focused his eye beams on Ghidorah's right wing like a cutting torch until he managed to sheer it completely off. He then repeatedly punched and pummeled Ghidorah's heads until one was pounded to a bloody pulp. Gudis grabbed another and twisted with all his might until he heard a vertebrae snap. It fell down lifelessly to the ground as the center head stared up at him hatefully.

"And you thought you could best me? I have existed since the dawn of time! I was already a god before you were even conceived and I am supposed to cower before the likes of YOU?! I am GUDIS! I am eternal! The alpha! The omega! My power is supreme!!! And you now belong... to me."

Gudis' last comment sent Ghidorah into a rage as he erupted forth with an ear-splitting shriek. The ravager of worlds had not freed himself from slavery to one race just to become the pawn of another. It would be a cold day in Hell before this abomination would have dominion over him!

Ghidorah summoned deep reserves of strength and ripped free of Gudis' tentacles, practically tearing them out of his sides as he howled in agony. A massive energy shock wave literally burned and forced the Gudis infection out of his body. Catching Gudis by surprise, Ghidorah clamped the jaws of his two still-mobile heads around his throat and right arm and picked him up, only to repeatedly slam him down into the ground again and again. He stopped just long enough to crush the Gudis' throat as the center head applied the necessary pressure to crush larynx, pharynx and trachea in his powerful jaws as Gudis vomited up a disgusting mixture of blood and bile.

Ghidorah released the Gudis and a split second later, blasted him with a combination of his gravity beams and electric attack from his remaining wing. Gudis was sent flying all the way to the outskirts of the city where he hit the side of a mountain, leaving a gigantic indentation from the force of his impact. He may have been capable of absorbing the energy but the sheer force of the beams were still brutal. As he struggled back to his feet clutching his throat, he didn't see Ghidorah until he landed right on top of him, smashing him down into ground. Ghidorah then repeatedly stomped on the back of his head, grinding his face into the earth.

The enraged kaiju wrapped one of his tails around the Gudis' neck, jerking him back up and swinging him into the mountain head first. He hit with such force that he bounced off and landed in a heap nearby. As Ghidorah looked on, the Gudis slowly and painfully rose. He could hear that voice inside his head once again.

You will be mine! You cannot stop me! Gudis lunged but Ghidorah brought forth a terrible amount of power from deep within as the crimson force field appeared. Normally, it only stopped energy attacks while things of a physical nature were capable of getting through but as Gudis started to penetrate it, Ghidorah pulsed a massive energy surge that for a brief instant augmented the field's strength, resulting in the Gudis' arms being sliced off above his elbows. With a horrific shriek, he fell backwards, waving the cauterized stumps. Only now was he hit with the realization that he had been beaten but this would not be the end. Not by a long shot!

As Ghidorah advanced, Gudis blasted the mountainside above him with his eye beams. The space dragon turned just in time to get buried under tons of rock. A few minutes passed before Ghidorah finally exploded forth from the stone tomb but Gudis was nowhere to be seen. He cackled insanely to the heavens in anger and frustration and vowed they would meet again. He had suffered some terrible injuries but he would heal in time and ravage the world anew.

Gudis may have retreated but he had almost toppled King Ghidorah. He now realized that he still did not have the power he needed, a mistake he planned to soon rectify.

*****

Six hundred miles above the Earth's surface, a brilliant golden light glistened, seeming to ascend from the teeming world below. Once more, the planet's uppermost reaches of the atmosphere bore witness to an injured tyrant.

King Ghidorah staggered into the blackness of space, liquid crimson gushing from the horribly mutilated stump that was once his right wing. His left neck had been snapped in two and was now hanging at a sickening angle in comparison to the rest of his body. His right head and neck were a bloody mess but still capable of moving about and firing his trademark twisted gravitic energy. His glistening golden hide was marked with scratches, burns and tears from the relentless assault of the entity known as Gudis.

King Ghidorah had once visited a world devastated by the virus-like being and was impressed with the amount of death and destruction he had wrought. He had hoped to one day meet the creature to see who would truly dominate the universe. Ghidorah was now glad that he hadn't met Gudis before his resurrection at the hands of the Kilaaks, the very same beings who had sentenced him to death in the first place.

It had been hard enough defeating the beast after such a surge of energy. Without his shield and wing lightning, he surely would have been slain or worse, assimilated into the Gudis' own organism, allowing it to become the ultimate killing machine.

King Ghidorah allowed his restless mind to slip into a coma as his body began to glow, his powers over electro-magnetic fields and gravity allowing him to attract masses of micro-meteoroids and space debris to his body, encasing his golden scales in an asteroid-like structure that slowly began to orbit the Earth. The leviathan awaited his revival, unaware of the burning saucer-shaped vessel that followed him at a safe distance.

MAJIN

At the lush and ornate residence of the wealthy American industrialist Richard Cromley, a special open house was taking place to show off his latest acquisition. Cromley happened to be a collector of ancient and rare artifacts from all over the world but for him, it was all about their worth in dollars, not historical curiosity. In the Grand Ballroom of his mansion stood a massive statue that was obviously centuries old that he had brought over from Japan.

Various onlookers from both Cromley's inner circle, as well as the scientific community, were present to behold this ancient marvel with jaws agape in wonder. One of the attendees, a Japanese woman, was awed like no one else because she knew the significance of the find and it filled her with unbridled terror. Twenty-two year old Ayami Itchibana looked up in disbelief as a small whisper escaped her lips.

"... Majin." Ayami came from a family that had passed down the ancient legends of Japan for untold centuries. She and her family were some of the last few people in the world who knew of or believed in the ancient legend of the god of vengeance. Ayami had heard about this showing that Cromley had orchestrated but did not believe it until now. With worry and anger, she surveyed the room, searching for Cromley. After a few moments, she spotted him with a gaggle of rich socialites like himself at an hors d'oeuvre table.

"Mister Cromley, sir. May I have a word with you?" she asked, walking up and speaking to him rather abruptly.

"Please, no autographs or reporters. I've talked to enough of your kind this evening," he responded with a dismissive wave of his hand.

"I am neither, Mister Cromley. But I assure you that what I must discuss with you is of the utmost importance," she pleaded.

"Who are you and why should I care?" he asked with contempt.

"It doesn't matter who I am. Just trust me when I say that you must return this statue to Japan immediately."

"What on Earth are you babbling about, woman?"

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you."

"You make it sound like I stole it or something. I assure you that I paid a substantial amount of money for it in a legitimate manner when I negotiated all rights to it, madam. Now, if you will excuse me..." He quickly turned away as if to dismiss her.

"Please! You're not listening to me. Terrible things will happen if you do not return the statue!"

"What? Is that supposed to be some kind of a threat?" Cromley responded in a disapproving tone.

"No, no, no! You don't understand what you're dealing with here! Listen. I am an authority on the background of this statue you have procured."

"Are you an archaeologist or something?"

"No, but if you don't listen to me, something terrible may happen! There are ancient legends surrounding this statue that you cannot hope to understand!"

"Oh, good Lord, no. Please don't tell me that there's some kind of curse or some other ridiculous nonsense like that," he scoffed with a hearty laugh that the rest of his colleagues joined in on.

"Like I've already said, you wouldn't believe me if I told you."

"I don't believe you now as it is and you are also an obvious quack and a lunatic. Security!" Cromley yelled as a very large duo quickly approached.

"No, please! You can't!" Ayami yelled as they grabbed hold of her and began to drag her away.

"I can and I will," he assured her smugly, eliciting another chuckle from his friends.

"NO! Wait! You don't understand!" she screamed but it was to no avail as she was rushed out the front door of the estate, nearly tripping over her own feet as the security detail pushed her out. She hurried back to her family who were sightseeing nearby to tell them what she had discovered. Ayami had no idea what it would accomplish but she knew that they would want to know.

*****

Darting down out of the upper stratosphere, Gudis came crashing down in the center of mid-town on 34th Street, much to the horror of the many people present. He rose to a fully vertical stance as he carefully observed his surroundings.

Ah, New York! The heart of it all. Let's see if the heart still beats once I've ripped it out Gudis thought to himself sadistically. He had come to the Big Apple for a specific purpose. In a secret subterranean lab about five miles away were the remains and DNA of the various kaiju that had attacked New York City over the years, including the original Kong, the Rhedosaurus, the bizarre iguana mutation that had appeared back in 1998 and so many more.

What Gudis was after was just as unique: the remains of the Giant Claw. By incorporating its DNA into his own, he would be able to reactivate the terrible anti-matter force field that it once possessed, making him truly unstoppable. Gudis began casually walking down 34th Street, paying no heed to the people and vehicles he crushed underfoot.

"What in God's name is that!?!" Mayori Itchibana screamed.

"Run!!" her husband yelled, grabbing her wrist and scooping up their 11 year old son, Rikki, as they moved as fast as their legs could carry them away from the Gudis.

"Oh, look. Ants!" Gudis snickered as he began blasting the tiny humans trying to flee from him. Ayami had just reached the intersection of Madison and 34th when she spotted her parents and little brother running towards her.

"What's going on!?!" she yelled a split second before her family was disintegrated before her eyes by a beam blast. Ayami stood there in shock and dismay, not wanting to believe what she had just witnessed. "Mo-mommy... daddy... Rikki?!" She began to scream and sob uncontrollably as she rushed up to where they were just a few moments ago but there was nothing left of them. The concussive force of another blast sent her flying back down Madison Avenue, breaking her left arm when she landed on the pavement. "Noooooo!" she screamed hysterically, now faced with the realization that her family had just been murdered.

The Gudis slowed down a little as he continued down 34th Street, picking off more helpless victims. He was really starting to enjoy himself now. Huddled and sobbing in a fetal position on Madison, Ayami watched him cross in front of her as he reached the intersection. The Gudis stopped briefly to stare at some of the convulsing, quivering bodies scattered about by indirect blasts. Ayami could not believe what she was seeing. It looked like something straight out of a nightmare! She glared hatefully at the monster that had taken her loved ones from her as it walked by. She should be terrified but all she felt was rage - pure, unadulterated rage. Her blood boiling, Ayami looked back at the Cromley estate. Moments later, she stormed through the front doors and directly to the Majin statue.

"What in blazes?" Cromley exclaimed when he spotted her kneeling down in front of it, looking as if she were actually talking to it. But just then, one of Cromley's security personnel rushed up to him with his face as white as a ghost.

"Mister Cromley, sir! A giant monster of some kind has just shown up down the street and is blasting everything in sight!"

"What?! Are you serious? Another one?" Cromley stammered, thinking back to the incident he had read about in the paper involving a creature called Baragon. Word spread fast and the entire ballroom erupted in panic. Cromley made a hasty exit, along with several others who began to push, shove and trample each other as they poured out the front doors. Amidst it all, Ayami was saying a quiet prayer to the towering Majin statue before her.

"... Please... for my family... hear my prayer," she murmured as tears began to stream down her face once more. When she finished, all was silent as the last of Cromley's guests fled, bypassing a couple on the floor who had been trampled and were badly injured. Ayami's conscience gnawed at her and a tiny voice inside her head kept screaming at her to stop, not to do this. The legends had always said that when Majin's wrath was roused, the innocent also died along with the guilty but she did not care. She looked up desperately at the motionless figure waiting for a response of some kind, any kind but nothing happened. She began to wonder if she had been led to believe a lie all these years.

But just then, the lights began to flicker on and off. It could have been caused by the Gudis' destructive rampage but she found herself daring to hope that her prayers had been answered. There was the sound of grinding stone as the statue slowly began to move. Ayami looked on in astonishment as it brought its forearms up in front of its face, transforming it from stone to flesh before her very eyes. It then slowly tilted its head down to gaze upon her. She couldn't believe it but the legends were true.

*****

Gudis had continued down 34th Street and almost reached the intersection at 5th Avenue where the Empire State Building stood when the sky above suddenly began to darken. "What is this?" he asked himself, looking upward and realizing that this was happening far too quickly to be a natural storm front. As the mid-day sky turned almost pitch black, lightning streaked across the underside of the dark clouds, blotting out the sunlight that had been shining down but a few moments ago. Back at the Cromley mansion, a ball of fiery blue energy literally exploded up out of the roof.

It flew through the air and landed in front of the Gudis with a blinding flash, backing him up in surprise. When the smoke cleared, Majin was standing there in his flesh and blood form at 95 meters, making him only five meters shorter than Gudis.

"Well, well, well... what have we here?" Gudis snarled curiously. But in truth, he knew what this thing was and the power it possessed. Ayami had rushed back to the Madison and 34th Street intersection to see for herself what was transpiring as the two behemoths faced off.

"So, the god of vengeance has been summoned to punish me. Let us see then what kind of power you truly have," Gudis hissed. As if answering the challenge, the mighty monolith took a slow step forward, raising its right hand up to the heavens. When it brought it back down, a bolt of lightning came crashing down, striking the Gudis and sending him flying backwards down 34th Street, skidding across the concrete. Ayami dove for cover as he went by, debris of every kind and description launched into the air. She barely managed to avoid being crushed by a flying bus, whereas others were not as lucky.

"Lightning? Surely you jest," Gudis laughed, having absorbed the energy he had just been hit with. He got back up. Majin summoned another bolt and the Gudis was hit hard again, falling into a hotel from the force of the strike. He sprang up immediately, unfolding his massive wings as he darted in, slamming hard into the giant samurai. With a firm grip on Majin's head, Gudis smashed him head first into the side of a skyscraper, digging a furrow through the side of the building with his face before throwing him into another which broke apart and collapsed on top of the empowered oni. Gudis reached down, wrenching Majin up out of the rubble and threw him down onto the pavement to pummel him in the face repeatedly.

"God of vengeance indeed. God of over-rated hype is more like it," Gudis snapped as he plowed one fist after another into the warrior's face. Majin's right hand abruptly shot up, stopping Gudis' left fist in his palm. Gudis began to wince slightly as Majin started to crush the fist in his hand.

As Majin rose with a firm grip still on his hand, he gave a sudden jerk and ripped the arm out of its socket. Gudis staggered back with an angry shriek as he looked down at where his left arm once was. The look of anger on his face changed to a smug grin as he regenerated the lost limb within a matter of seconds. With a roar, Gudis charged Majin and spear-tackled him hard, sending them both crashing through the base of the Empire State Building. The 350,000 ton structure stood strong, despite the gaping hole now at its base.

The battle continued out the other side before coming to a stop at the foundation of the Macy's New York shopping megaplex which bowed and crumbled down upon them. With a horrendous uppercut, Majin sent Gudis flying backwards to land on one of New York's many illustrious and legendary art museums, crushing it into so much rubble.

Briefly slipping out of her hiding place and clutching her broken arm, Ayami looked on in horror at the carnage and destruction resulting from the titanic battle. She began to sob once more as she wondered if she had done more harm than good by summoning Majin. Gudis righted himself quickly and suddenly realized where he was at. All he should have to do was blast his way straight down to reach the lab but first, he would have to deal with Majin. He used his eye beams, striking him in the chest but not only did they not knock him down, he began to walk towards the Gudis. He intensified the attack and added a powered-up version of Gappa's heat ray from his mouth, pushing hard against the god of vengeance.

"Fall, damn you! Fall!!" Gudis howled in disbelief as Majin strained against the forces boring into him. Finally, his footing gave way as the beams pushed the juggernaut backwards, sending him crashing into Herald Square with a tremendous impact. But as Gudis advanced on him, Majin brought more of his supernatural powers to bear, causing massive columns of shattered concrete to rise up off the ground, cluster and form together in snake-like shapes.

Sitting up, he thrust his hands forward as the concrete serpents smashed down on top of the Gudis like massive clubs. Gudis barely had time to dig himself out when he saw that Majin had ripped off the top of a skyscraper at least twice his size and hurled it at him like a flying battering ram. It hit head on and Gudis went smashing through one building after another as towering high rises toppled like houses of cards. For many terrified New Yorkers, it was like living through 9/11 all over again, only a hundred times worse.

Gudis lay motionless amid the shattered buildings as Majin slowly walked toward him. As soon as he was in range, the mutant terror lunged back up, sending dozens of his tentacles surging forth, wrapping and tangling around him. Gudis then swung him around like a Louisville slugger, smashing him head first into three more buildings and cleaving through them as if he were chopping down trees.

Getting a firm grip once more, Gudis unfolded his wings as he shot up into the sky with Majin in tow. He then veered back down, directly towards the former site of the Empire State Building. They smashed clear down through the rubble of the nearly 500 meter landmark and drilled down through its underground systems and into several layers of bedrock beneath.

As Ayami and thousands of others fled for their lives amid the hellish chaos and flying debris, a stray brick glanced off her head, knocking her out cold. Her limp form tumbled into an exposed part of the sewer system beneath the street. Within the massive crater where the Empire State Building once stood proudly, Gudis had Majin practically mummified in his constricting tendrils as he looked down at the entangled golem.

"Tell me, god of vengeance... where is your godlike power now?" Gudis snarled sarcastically as he blasted Majin directly in his face at point blank range with both his eye beams and his heat ray. Majin was far from finished as his hands grated across the crushed concrete. He summoned his terrible power once again and his body literally exploded into a blue maelstrom of fire that erupted into the sky above, sending the Gudis flying backwards and landing on his head and neck.

His body demolished even more of the Mid-town metro area. Majin reconstituted his physical body and reached down to pick up the nearly 200 foot long antenna that was once atop the Empire State Building. As the Gudis rose, he launched it like a spear which the abomination dodged by mere inches. Gudis turned back around to see Majin transforming into a blue spirit flame again, flying up into the sky and shooting back down towards him like an out-of-control comet. The force of the explosion sent the Gudis spiraling through the air all the way to the Hudson River. He staggered out of the maelstrom created by Majin, completely engulfed in flames and writhing in agony with no way to put them out. He quickly plunged into the river and submerged.

Cursing to himself in a rage, the Gudis swam out to sea and away from New York. Still in his spirit flame form, Majin came to rest at the water's edge as his physical body reappeared. He stepped into the water and the Hudson parted like the Red Sea all the way to the Jersey shore.

At the center of the canyon of water was the Gudis. Majin advanced and stretched out his hand and the Gudis' body again ignited, not only burning it but his very soul. The abomination shrieked in agony as he twisted and writhed about, firing his beams in all directions. In desperation, he sent one of his energy spheres out to try and envelop and freeze the oni but as it encased him, Majin crossed his arms in front of himself and thrust them outward, obliterating the energy field with ease.

When Majin reached him, the fire intensified and with one final shriek of misery, the Gudis exploded into a thousand pieces.

All was quiet as Majin slowly turned and began to walk along the trench with the Hudson River pooling behind him. Back on shore, the once-again armored Goliath lumbered toward the city. Something began to stir and coalesce together in the water as the remains of Gudis began to collect and fuse back together. As the gigantic contorting mass shifted and rose, the monster was created anew.

The Gudis erupted forth from the depths, seething with silent fury and frustration. He was so close! He could practically taste the Claw's DNA, hear it beckoning to him but it wasn't worth risking against Majin's power. Cursing to himself, the Gudis unfolded his wings and took off into the stratosphere and away from New York.

Back in the city, Ayami had regained consciousness and managed to climb up a still-intact ladder to the street above. As she wiped at the blood running down the side of her head, she looked around in disbelief at what used to be one of the most densely populated sections of one of the largest cities in the world. Now it was nothing more than a smoldering mass graveyard littered with bodies. The death toll had to be in the hundreds of thousands!

A large shadow loomed over her and she turned to see the Majin standing before her. Ayami began to sob uncontrollably as she realized that she was the cause of all this.

"Pl-please... no more," she whimpered as she looked up at him with tears streaming down her face. The Majin slowly brought its arms back up in front of its face and turned back into stone. The towering ancient samurai crumbled into dust which was carried away upon the wind. Ayami gazed at the carnage all around her. With the disappearance of Majin, the dark clouds parted but you could not tell it with the fires and smoke that now filled the sky. The moans and wails of the injured and dying echoed throughout the landscape as the stench of burning flesh permeated the air. Ayami fell to her knees, on the brink of losing her sanity as she managed to mutter four final words before slipping into catatonia.

"... What have I done..."

*****

At a mental institution in Lower Manhattan, two security guards sat behind the desk of their command post, bored out of their minds. One was trying hard not to doze off while the other channel-surfed on a rickety little television sitting alongside their various monitors.

"The damage and devastation here in the mid-town area is catastrophic. There is no way of knowing how long it will take to find survivors who may still be alive beneath the rubble. Casualty numbers are quickly climbing into the thousands with no sign of letting up. This is truly the darkest day in the city of New York and in the nation's history." *click*

"Damn monsters."

"Come on down to Crazy Louie's Used Car Emporium for our Apocalypse Now sales bash! That's right, folks! Don't put off 'til tomorrow what you could buy today 'cause tomorrow, we could all be dead!" *click*

A new arrival in a state of catatonia was rolled in past the security desk on a stretcher. Ayami Itchibana hadn't spoken a word or moved under her own power since the Gudis attack. Her blank, almost lifeless eyes stared off into space, oblivious to her surroundings.

"Another one of the mid-town survivors?" the guard asked the orderlies as they pushed her along.

"Yeah, if you want to call it that," one of them responded with regret. In the background, the horrors of the moment continued to unfold.

"In other local news, wealthy international industrialist Richard Cromley is still missing and is at this time presumed dead."

FIRE RODAN VS MEGAGUIRUS

From the caldera of the erupting volcano, a strange ghostly cackle was heard above the rumbling of the angry mountain. A careful observer might have noticed a red form rise with the lava. From the ashes of its ancestors like the fiery phoenix of old, a creature that was aglow with unearthly energy came forth.

Just as quickly as the winged samurai appeared, it dove into the molten rock and ash pouring forth from the now beating heart of the Earth. Energy was coursing through the being, pulsating through every vein in its body. The animal was at least 100 meters from head to toe and any citizen of Japan would instantly realize the heritage of such a beast. It was Rodan, only different somehow, as if mutated.

A third horn sprouted from the back of its head, larger than the other two. Its beak was longer and much sharper. Huge wings stretched out to more resemble those of a pterosaur. Its tail was thinner and longer but despite these changes, a winged samurai of the sky had once again been born out of the mighty Mount Aso.

It was the brother of the flying fighter who had been killed by the very same creatures that had revived him. The kaiju opened its mighty beak and let out another haunting roar that resonated inside the deep crater of the volcano... and was answered. Another explosion of rock and dust occurred and rising into the night sky alongside her ancient foe was an immense purple-hued insect with mighty claws and a gigantic tail and stinger. It let out a high-pitched shriek at her opponent. It also had been revived by the Kilaak's energy wave.

For many millions of years, the Rodan family had been feeding on the Meganula, a species of large insect that had been around since before there were dinosaurs. When the first Rodan evolved, a battle for dominance in the skies began but was cut short with the arrival of Death Ghidorah and the extinction of the dinosaurs.

The few remaining Rodans sought shelter in volcanos such as Mount Aso. Looking for energy to feed on, the Meganurons also found themselves drawn to the thermal chambers; and prisons where their species would be trapped for the next sixty-five million years.

This creature, Megaguirus, was the queen of the Meganurons. It had long ago been confined in the mountain where all it could do was lay eggs. These hatched into the Meganurons that fed the Rodans for so long. Now free from her prison and charged with enough energy to fly like her ancestors, Megaguirus was ready to resume the age-old war for aerial domination.

Rodan cackled furiously at his foe and knew that his first battle would not be an easy one. Megaguirus had disappeared, flying at incredible speed but Rodan had evolved defenses to this tactic. He quickly relocated the gargantuan dragonfly which let out a high-pitched wail and flew circles around the stationary pterosaur. Rodan suddenly thrust out his talons, snatching Megaguirus' right wing in his claws.

The two flying titans spun out of control to the ground, slamming into the mountainside. Rodan lifted his head and thrust it down again. Megaguirus zipped away just in time as his beak blasted a hole in the dirt and rock. Rodan flapped his wings and rose into the sky, chasing his foe in gigantic circles. Megaguirus banked sharply to the left and Rodan swung wide to catch up with her. She then suddenly stopped dead in the air and thrust her huge stinger forward. The appendage drove into Rodan's shoulder, sending spasms of pain through the pterosaur. He felt his life energy flowing through it and into the terrible insect.

Rodan brought his talons up and latched onto Megaguirus' tail. The insect shrieked as he shoved away from the marauding killer. Megaguirus dived at her opponent, latching onto both of his wings with her claws. Her teeth drove into Rodan's neck as the winged reptile brought his talons up once more, this time grabbing onto Megaguirus' sides, locking the two in a deadly embrace.

Megaguirus struggled to hold both of them in the air but finally gave up, letting go but Rodan did not fall. His talons had dug into Megaguirus' sides and he was a much stronger flyer. He carried the struggling insect queen for several hundred meters before dropping her immense bulk. Megaguirus flew back up to continue the battle but met the sharp end of Rodan's beak. Her left eye was a gushing mess as Rodan lapped at the insect's blood, feasting on this primal delight.

With the promise of a meal, Rodan pecked furiously at his opponent, most of his attempts sparking uselessly off Megaguirus' armored hide. She flew away from her mortal enemy at super-sonic speed to reconsider her attack plan, knowing that Rodan could not catch up. Megaguirus flew a wide circle around the battlefield before zooming back. Rodan was not prepared for this sudden attack and knocked out of the sky. As he struggled to his feet, using his wing claws to support himself, Megaguirus was quickly on top of him, her stinger stabbing into his back.

Rodan let out a cry of anguish as Megaguirus used her weight to keep him down while draining his energy. The battle seemed all but won in favor of the colossal prehistoric dragonfly when Rodan suddenly thrust his head backwards, driving his elongated center horn into the exposed underside of Megaguirus' tail. She shrieked in surprise as he thrust his head forward, pulling the stinger out of his back and over his head. He snatched the appendage in his beak and crushed it into a thousand pieces.

Megaguirus was in agony as Rodan rose into the air underneath her, soaring higher into the night sky. She snapped futilely at his head as the pterosaur went into a roll, causing the insect to fall away.

Rodan snatched the creature in his talons and cackled in victory as it flapped its wings, doing little more than propelling the two creatures forward. He leaned down and seized one of Megaguirus' squirming arms in his beak, pulling it free to drop into the forest below as the one-eyed creature wailed in pain. Rodan then pecked brutally at the underside of creature's head, creating a hole into its jaws. Megaguirus tried to shriek but only blasted blood out of her throat.

Rodan cackled and poked another hole in Megaguirus' exoskeleton at the center of her belly before tearing off one of the creature's wings. He circled the volcano several times with his dying prey before diving into the crater, down into the heart of the earthen beast where temperatures were hot enough to instantly kill most living beings.

Rodan was minimally affected by the heat while Megaguirus was in a hell on Earth. The creature was being cooked alive, smoke and steam pouring from its body. Rodan could smell the aroma of burning flesh and felt his mouth water. He finally lifted out of the magma chamber, flying into the cool night air and dropping the charred remains of Megaguirus on the ground below.

The mighty pteradon alighted next to the carcass and let out a triumphant cackling roar before diving his head into Megaguirus' belly and feasting on the creature's cooked flesh.


CHAPTER EIGHT

KAGOSHIMA ISLAND

Off the southwest coast of Japan on one of the many tiny islands in the Ryuku chain, a massive army of Baltan seijin were preparing for an invasion. When they didn't hear back from their scouting party, they assumed the worst and were now arriving in force. Hundreds teleported down to the Earth's surface but unbeknownst to them, they had an observer.

Oh, I'm sorry. Is this a bad time? a telepathic voice inquired. The Baltans spun around to see the Gudis standing a few meters behind them. He had wiped out the initial landing party and looked forward to doing the same to these new arrivals.

The Baltans opened fire but despite the countless blasts from their claws, the Gudis just stood there and laughed as he absorbed the energy from their attacks. He then fired it back out of his eyes, augmented with his own beams. Several Baltans threw up their forcefields to shield themselves but those who did not react quickly enough were blown to bits. The Gudis charged in to engage in some hand-to-hand combat.

One Baltan was torn in half while another got its head crushed down into its torso. A third lost its arms while a fourth had a fist punched through its chest and out the back. Others had formed a firing squad, trying to fell the Gudis with their claw blasts, taking down several of their brethren in the process. Some tried to fend off the Gudis with their forcefields but were obliterated by its supercharged arm beams which blew right through and eviscerated them. Using a combination of his eye beams, breath ray and arm blasts, the Gudis sent Baltan body parts flying in all directions.

Realizing that they were being slaughtered, the Baltans employed a new strategy. Nearly two dozen split off from the rest of the group and merged into one. The ability to form a physical and mental symbiosis is an ancient and legendary ability of these seijin that augments their strength greatly. When the transformation was complete, the newly-empowered and far more imposing Baltan attacked, slamming into the Gudis from behind and sending him skidding across the ground into several other of their kind. The Gudis turned around just in time to catch a focused beam blast to the chest from the giant's left claw. His body dug a trench through the earth as he was pushed back by the force of it.

"Well, well, well. What have we here? An upgrade?" the Gudis pondered aloud as he climbed out of the furrow he had dug. He then fired the energy he had been hit with out of his eyes, along with his own. The Baltan brought up a forcefield to deflected the attack. Darting in on the offensive, it tackled the Gudis hard as they smashed deep into the side of a mountain. The entire peak shook as the alien brutes battled within. For miles, animals and birds fled in all directions as the landscape rocked from the force of the blows being exchanged. It became quiet again until the Baltan suddenly exploded out of the mountain from a particularly nasty Gudis punch. The insectoid went rolling across the ground as the Gudis walked out of the mountainside, clenching his fists and staring down at the amalgamated alien.

"C'mon! Is that all you've got?!" Gudis challenged with a hiss. The Baltan stood up and seemingly splitting into several copies of itself, surrounded the Gudis, opening fire to send dozens of beams slamming into the Gudis from all sides. The virus sent out a massive energy shockwave from its body by crossing its arms out front and then outward. The wave wiped out all the false clones, leaving only a single giant Baltan remaining. Gudis laid into it with a devastating punch combination. The Baltan staggered backwards from the assault but retaliated by shoving both of its open claws into the Gudis' face and unleashing a point-blank dual beam blast that briefly stunned its opponent. It then followed up by hammering the Gudis with its club-like claws. The Baltan went for another beam shot but the Gudis quickly grabbed its wrist and twisted the huge claw back towards the alien's own face as it fired. The Gudis shot one of his own arm blasts and a concentrated beam from his right fist but the Baltan managed to bring up its forcefield.

Angered by this, the Gudis unloaded both of the powerful beams from his arms which hit the Baltan hard but failed to connect. The seijin then used its ability to teleport and disappeared. Nearby, it reappeared and absorbed more of its comrades into itself to further strengthen and mutate its form. The seijin's eyes and face slanted almost into a devilish expression as armor plating sprouted all over its body. The Gudis turned to see the climax of this metamorphosis as the Baltan brought its open claws together into what almost looked like a bizarre organic cannon of some kind.

"Finally, a real chall--" KABLAM!!! The Gudis was hit by a beam that sent him flying and smashing through three mountains in a row. As he tried to recover, the Uber-Baltan advanced. Gudis fired both power beams from his fists but they simply bounced off its armor and the alien crashed down on top of him.

As they plummeted into the bowels of the Earth, the ground shook as if there was an earthquake. The Gudis suddenly was blasted up out of the ground, only to land on his head with a sickening splat. The Uber-Baltan hovered above the hole he had made.

"Not bad for a bug," the Gudis snickered as he rose to his feet. He had absorbed the energy of both blasts and fired it back out of his right fist, sending the Baltan smashing into the mountain they had been fighting in earlier. The entire peak came down on top of the extraterrestrial insect. It blasted its way clear a few moments later and looked up to see the Gudis coming down out of the sky with a huge boulder in his grasp. The Baltan barely side-stepped in time as the massive rock hit the ground and was pulverized into so much gravel. As the Gudis landed, he was hit by a claw slam that sent him back into another mountain. He soon roared back out and shoulder-tackled his adversary through the rubble of the mountain that had been leveled and pushed him into another with terrible force.

At the base, the Gudis stood over the Baltan, laying in one punch after another until he was hit with a backhand claw that knocked him away. The Baltan utilized his terrible uber-beam and struck the Gudis dead on once again but this time, the Gudis fought against the torrent of energy and dug both his arms, legs and dozens of rapidly-sprouting tentacles into the earth to anchor himself. The Gudis was pushed back by the beam but when it finally stopped, he was still within firing range and quickly returned the blast out of his fists. The Baltan was hit hard but started walking towards the Gudis despite the beam being focused on it.

"Now let's see how much you can really take!" the Gudis roared as he fired both his eye beams and breath beam, along with the reflected energy. The armor plating on the Baltan started to crack and chip from the onslaught.

Desperately, the seijin summoned its force field, hoping that between it and the armor, it could withstand the barrage but the Gudis kicked up the power another notch by unleashing even more of his own energy to augment his beams. The Baltan was finally overpowered, resulting in a horrendous explosion. When the smoke cleared, only a few charred remains could be seen strewn across the ground. Any surviving Baltans teleported away in a hurry, aborting their invasion and returning to deep space.

MEDIA PLAY

Miss Hiromi Osada, a slim 23 year-old reporter for Ni-Ichi News with almond-colored hair, stepped onto the escalator at the large, multi-storied G-FORCE Building. The ground floor slowly disappeared behind her as she stood motionless during her ride upward which passed several levels. White walls on either side of her were far apart and she felt like she was in a giant super shopping mall due to the immense size of the place.

Her reason for coming here was far from a mere leisure activity. Hiromi was on her way to interview kaijuology student Cillian Bakker because his professor, the renowned Kenji Kamaiya, was too busy with the baby Anguirusaurus that had recently been brought to Monsterland.

His prize student had stopped off in Tokyo on his way from Moscow and was temporarily residing at G-FORCE headquarters while awaiting transfer to the Ogasawara Islands. Hiromi had made prior arrangements for the interview two days ago over the phone but hadn't heard from Mister Bakker since. He was in Moscow at the time and no definite appointment had been set. Always the determined reporter, Hiromi chased him down until she found his whereabouts. Now she was on her way to his apartment, whether he knew it or not because if it was an interview she wanted, it is an interview she would get. This kind of determination had received much praise from her employer who knew they could count on her for the latest news on about anything, which they did.

Stepping off the escalator on the fifth floor, she found herself in the middle of a large walkway with modest traffic. Two or three scientists, journalists, professors, students, government officials and others were moving about the former Godzilla counter-measures bureau. Straight ahead was a series of doors, each marked with a number, name and classification.

Hiromi took out a small piece of paper from her purse on which she had written her 'victim's' (as she liked to call them) address: 1604, Cillian Bakker, Kaijuologist, Apartment C-3, Level Five. It was almost directly in front of her and a grin crossed her face.

This was too easy! Approaching the door and knocking, there was no answer. She pressed the call button and a small light flashed. A soft buzzing noise sounded but still no response from within. Annoyed but not discouraged, the spunky reporter wasn't about to let that detour her from getting a story.

Having gotten an authorization card from the guard at the entry desk with a little persuasion, Hiromi slid it through the reader and opened the door. Being careful to close it behind her, she quietly stepped inside. What she saw was nothing out of the ordinary for a scientist at G-FORCE. A short hallway with a tiny closet to her left led into a small living room and office. The area, with its two red chairs and sofa, was cluttered with models of Godzilla and dinosaurs; books and essays on both to maps of Monsterland and the once-prominent Mu Empire on the walls. Boxes were stuffed with papers, pens and pencils galore.

The office directly across from her consisted of a desk and chair, computer and more books. Hiromi stepped forward, peering around each corner as she advanced. Beyond the two rooms was a kitchen which was as messy and a bedroom with the door closed.

She could probably spend hours going through the papers laying around and easily dig up something newsworthy. In the room before her, she would no doubt find even more valuable information. Turning the doorknob slowly so as not to make a sound, Hiromi peered inside. What she saw was rather unexpected. The room was neat and tidy, literally spotless from top to bottom. How interesting she thought. Walking into the bedroom, she noticed a desk at one end, next to a bed and bookcase. Hiromi began to go through the desk drawers and searched through piles of papers. There was enough top secret kaiju-related information here to last the rest of her career as a reporter.

Suddenly, she heard a noise. Startled, Hiromi stood up quietly and listened. Nothing. Was she simply hearing things? There was the sound of a toilet flushing. No, it was real. The bathroom! she thought. I forgot to make sure no one was in there! Now faced with a bizarre situation, she could either run for it or hide and wait for him to leave. She looked around but there was no place to hide. She would have to make a run for it. Hiromi ran out of the bedroom in hopes of dashing to the living room before - BANG! They collided in the hallway, landing on their backs. Cillian struggled to his feet in a hurry.

"Who are you?" he demanded. "What do you want?" Hiromi began to pick herself up.

"I'm Miss Hiromi Osada of Ni-Ichi News," she began in her most dignified manner possible, given such bizarre circumstances. "We spoke two days ago over the phone, regarding an interview."

"What? Oh, yes. But we never agreed on a date or time. And it's certainly no excuse for you breaking into my apartment! How did you get in here anyway?" He suddenly remembered all the top secret documents that were laying about. "You didn't see any of this stuff, did you? You didn't read anything?"

"I didn't read it, though I was hoping-"

"Good. Now get out."

"Hey, you can't talk to me like that!" Hiromi barked. "I'm here for an interview and I'm not leaving until I get one."

"You broke into my apartment. That's a crime, don't you know? If it's an interview you want, you could have just called."

"I did. Five times. No one answers their phones around here." She stood with her arms akimbo and gave him an almost taunting look.

"Whatever. Not now."

"Yes, now. I'm hard-pressed to get information one way or the other before our competitors do. We go to press tomorrow and I need an interview." Her face became sterner. He could tell that she was dead serious.

"I'll call security," Cillian declared, raising his head a bit more proudly as if he had pulled a trick from his sleeve.

"Go ahead. It won't do you a bit of good. I already took care of the guards." Bakker's smirk disappeared.

"Fine," he finally said with a wave of his hand. "What do you want to know?" Hiromi smiled politely and walked very dignified in her triumph to the living room, shoving a sack of papers off one of the chairs and sitting down. Cillian sat down on the sofa as she pulled out a small tape recorder and set it up on the cluttered table between them. Hiromi studied her victim for a second, deciphering what kind of a man he was. A trick of the trade was to know your prey and ask the right questions so as to get the most out of them.

Physically, he was attractive but she cared not about such things. Green eyes, wavy brown hair and contemporary wire-framed glasses which she discerned he really didn't need. Reading glasses, perhaps. Dressed in blue jeans and an off-white button-down shirt under which was a T-shirt.

She figured she was in the presence of a young man aspiring to be more than he realistically could be, with high hopes and eager to please. Perhaps he had an almost obsessive passion for his work which meant that he knew his stuff. The latter was all she cared to know about.

"First, it is customary to get to know the interviewee before getting to the actual exchange of information. Do you mind if I ask you a few personal questions?" Cillian sat up a bit and placed his hands together on the table.

"Yes, that will be fine." Hiromi pressed the RECORD button and sat back in her chair.

"For the record, would you please state your full name, date and place of birth."

Bakker sighed and answered the question. "Cillian Ethan Bakker, born March 17, 1983 in Ireland."

"Have you always lived there?"

"No. My immediate family moved to the United States. Philadelphia, precisely, in 1989. I just moved to Tokyo within the past three years because of my schooling in kaijuology."

"So. Getting right into the discussion, what new information can you tell us about the baby Anguirusaurus?"

"Well, I'm not sure what all you have heard about him but he was flown down to Monsterland a few days ago where he's being kept in a quarantined section of the island until he has grown large enough to live safely with the other monsters. Right now, our scientists are simply trying to get the little fellow settled in so that they may conduct further observations."

Our scientists? thought Hiromi. Getting a little high and mighty, aren't we?

"So. Are you planning on visiting the kaiju in the near future?"

"Oh, yes. I should be heading over there in about a day or two."

"Are there any special plans for the young monster after it's grown?"

"Not especially. However, that's not to say that it isn't valuable. This new Anguirus gives us the opportunity to study the species more closely and pick up where we left off with the original creature before it was killed recently."

"The egg was found at the monster's home, Iwato Island. How long do you think it was there before it was discovered?"

"I'm not too sure. We tried dating the eggshell but the results were inconclusive. We theorize that the first Anguirus, observed back in 1955, was the mother. As is common among female animals, it was likely defending its territory and nest from the second Godzilla. The male Anguirus was away at the time. Where, exactly, is unknown. However, it's reasonable to assume that after the female's death in Osaka, the male returned to guard the egg until we captured him for confinement at Monsterland. The egg likely didn't hatch until now because of its frozen condition. Once brought to Moscow, however, it quickly regained viability in the incubator."

"So this monster, though just born, is maybe fifty years old? Fascinating. And what is your take on the destruction of the male Anguirus?" Cillian felt a bit uncomfortable with the question, not knowing quite how to answer it.

"Well, eh.... it was an unfortunate loss for the scientific community. Luckily, we now have the baby to make up for it." He tried to smile and lighten the tone of his voice but it proved unconvincing. "They did what they felt was necessary to protect mankind and one can't argue over their logic." He should have added something further but could not think of what to say. Cillian was actually a little embarrassed. Sensing this, Hiromi tried to change the subject.

"So what are your thoughts on an alien alliance with Earth?" Her attempt failed.

"What? Oh, er... I'm not good with politics." Cillian put his head in his hands after realizing how stupid his answer sounded. "Perhaps that's enough questions for now?" he suggested.

"Yes, I suppose so." Hiromi put the tape recorder away.

"I hope that was enough information for your article."

"I'm sure it is," she said half-heartedly.

"Wonderful." Cillian stood up and walked toward the closet next to the front door to get his shoes. Hiromi also began to get ready to leave.

God, what a waste! she thought. Next time, she'd settle for nothing less than the real McCoy. She would go to Ogasawara if that's what took. 'I'm not good with politics' - what kind of an idiotic answer was that? Now she would have to spend the next half a day trying to scrape together little bits of information here and there to fill out her report in time. She did have Kenji Kamaiya's cell phone number so perhaps she would give him a call.

Hiromi picked up her purse and headed for the door, passing Cillian in the tight hallway and opening the door. While tying his shoes, he felt bad for wasting her time. She had broken into his apartment and normally he would have sent her packing but nonetheless, he knew what it meant to have a paper done on time. Given the amount of trouble it likely took her to track him down, he felt guilty for not making it worth her while.

Curse my sensitivity! He turned around just as Hiromi was walking out the door.

"Hey, wait a sec," he called after her. Confused, she stopped and glared at him. "Uh... I was just about to get some coffee... and wondered if you'd care to join me."

"What?" she asked bluntly.

"I just feel bad for wasting your time. Can I make it up to you?" Hiromi thought over his proposal. Well, I might get more information out of him With a roll of her eyes, she agreed.


CHAPTER 12

GUIRON

In downtown Kyoto, the monster Guiron rampaged through the streets, crushing everything in its path as people ran screaming for their lives. This Guiron, however, was not the original as it had been regrown and genetically engineered through cultivated DNA from the original kaiju who shared the same namesake.

It had been augmented with a new weapon also: a cybernetic tail that had a massive gripping claw on the end and was made of the same metal as the blade upon the kaiju's head. This new appliance also helped to better distribute the monster's weight when it was standing upright and trying to support the heavy blade that had kept the previous kaiju on all fours most of the time.

Things looked grim for the city and its inhabitants as the beast made its way through the small metropolis, undaunted in its carnage until a laser fired from above, dispersing and spreading into a cluster of rays that struck the kaiju's back. Coming in for a landing was the new and improved Gigan. With his incredible flying speed of Mach 3, the cyborg made the twenty mile flight from the Nebulan base to the city quickly and came down about 600 meters in front of the bladed alien kaiju.

He clanged his own blades together, uttering his characteristic metallic cry. Guiron responded by lunging with a roar, attempting to spear Gigan head on but the cyborg dodged. Guiron went through a building behind where Gigan had been standing. Gigan then blasted him again with his eye beam as the creature turned to lunge again, this time cleaving another structure in half. Gigan took to the air but as he circled around, Guiron crouched low once again, coiling his powerful leg muscles as he hid amongst the buildings.

As Gigan realized that his prey had disappeared, Guiron suddenly lunged into the air, catching him by surprise as his massive blade slammed into him dead on, putting a huge dent in his left sternum. The cyborg fell out of the sky and crashed down below. As he got back up, Guiron was already on top of him, diving forward as Gigan crossed his own blades together. Guiron collided with them, resulting in a metallic clanging echo that could be heard from one end of the city to the other.

The two kaiju pushed against each other with their locked blades as each jockeyed for position. Suddenly, something clasped onto the back of Gigan's head. It was Guiron's tail, with a large claw on the end with incredible strength and gripping power that hurled him through the air and crashing through several buildings. Guiron then sent forth his psychically controlled shuriken but soon discovered to his dismay that they could not penetrate Gigan's armor but returned to him

Guiron uprooted an electrical tower with his tail and threw it at his adversary like a javelin but Gigan managed to dart out of the way as Guiron bolted again. Gigan side-stepped him and hacked away with his own blades as Guiron roared out in defiance. It was becoming apparent that Guiron's hide was extremely resilient so Gigan decided it was time to use his big saw. Guiron stood up, taking a series of swings at Gigan with his blade. The cyborg managed to dodge and his chest saw roared to life. He then charged right at Guiron and dug it into his collarbone.

At first, it didn't seem to penetrate, as if he was trying to cut into solid stone but after a few seconds, the tough skin finally gave way and a spray of blood spurted through the air. Reacting in anger and the unfamiliar sensation of pain, Guiron went berserk and lashed out with his metallic tail. The claw stabbed at Gigan again and again who used his own blades to parry and block in an odd parody of a sword fight. Intermittently, Gigan would have to dodge or block Guiron's head blade as well. The amount of control the kaiju had over his cybernetic tail was impressive. It was almost as if it operated independently from the rest of his body.

Gigan tried a point-blank shot with his beam but Guiron angled his head so that his blade deflected the ray. Off in the distance, a structure got leveled. Gigan ended the exchange, clanging his right blade against Guiron's head and his left against the dangerous tail. He also blasted the gaping wound his saw had made with his eye beam, compounding the damage even more as Guiron let out another bellow of pain.

The tail came down at Gigan again but he went into a spin, deflecting it with his left blade as he buried the right in Guiron's left eye. As the kaiju staggered back from the injury, Gigan quickly shot forth one of his grappling hooks. It wrapped around Guiron's neck before he swung him through the air to go crashing down on the other side of him.

When Guiron got back up, he charged at Gigan who did the same. They leaped into the air at one another but Gigan turned his body in mid-air, dodging Guiron's blade and at the same time, bringing his chest saw across his neck. Gigan went down as did Guiron's body but his head was elsewhere. Gigan walked up to the beheaded kaiju for a final look when suddenly, Guiron's tail thrust forward and punched him in the face.

As Gigan went flying back, its claw ripped up a building and hurled it at him. Gigan then realized that the tail was robotic and did indeed operate independently. The building came down on Gigan who had to use his beam to blast his way clear, only to get smacked in the face by a huge chunk of pavement that the tail had ripped up. Reacting quickly, Gigan fired his beam but discovered that like Guiron's blade, it too deflected laser fire. The cyborg took to the air and circled around the city.

Gigan soared in at amazing speed to rush up on the tail with his chest saw and grabbed it, grating against the blade as sparks flew. The tail actually lifted Gigan off the ground, preparing to throw him off. Gigan fired both of his grappling hooks, anchoring himself to the ground as his saw cut through the robotic appendage. It went flying through the air but managed to twitch and snap a couple of times before finally going dead. With the threat finally over, Gigan ignited his jets and headed back to the Nebulan base.

*****

"That went even better than I could have possibly expected, Kubota! Some excellent work, if I do say so myself," Fumio commended his associate.

"I am glad that you approve, Chairman," he replied with a satisfied grin.

*****

Elsewhere at a secret location, a small group of Terran aliens were in the midst of a violent temper tantrum.


CHAPTER 14

GARASHARP

"My apologies for interrupting, Mister President, but a massive object has just moved into the Earth's orbit. You said to notify you immediately if anything suspicious occurred," the Vice President informed the Commander-in-Chief.

"Indeed, that is correct. Ladies and gentlemen, if you will please excuse me?" the President addressed his guests as he got up to leave.

"If something is happening that is a threat to this planet, then we humbly ask that you allow us to accompany you, Mister President," King Antonio offered.

"As will we all," the Mu Empress added, rising with her King.

"Where is this object now?" Argon asked.

"It is hovering in an orbit over Asia," the Vice President replied.

"If I can get a line of communication to our base, I can have Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus launched and on their way in minutes," Argon suggested. The others present agreed to his proposal.

"Very well, then. Follow me." The President quickly led the procession out of the great hall.

*****

An immense starship called the DAGRON hovered over the Asian continent. Inside, the alien race known as the Zanons were preparing to begin their own conquest of the planet. Twenty-five years ago, the flagship ZANON had come here for the same purpose but was destroyed by Gamera. Now, they had returned and did not plan on failing a second time.

"Teleport the monster Garasharp to the proper coordinates immediately!" the Captain bellowed.

The Forbidden City part of Beijing had remained as it was since the time of the Ming and Qing dynasties centuries ago. It was eight kilometers in length and close to five in width. Without warning, the gigantic creature suddenly appeared in the heart of this ancient area, smashing its way into the Imperial Palace. The structure had stood for over 500 years and served as the home of no less than 24 of China's Emperors. Now, it was being demolished in mere seconds.

The moment Garasharp touched down, two quickly approaching cyborgs changed course to intercept him as their internal scanners zeroed in on the kaiju's life signs. As civilians fled in terror in all directions, Garasharp curled into the devastated remains of the once majestic Palace as if it were some sort of nest. He then unleashed a terrible fog-like mist from his jaws that blanketed the Forbidden City. Immediately, people started to drop dead as the lethal gas overtook them.

"Eventually, Garasharp will move to other parts of the city and spread his toxic fumes across all of Beijing. Then we will let him gorge himself on the carcasses that are left behind while we begin our colonization," the Zanon captain proclaimed to his officers.

"Sir, we have an unidentified flying object moving into Beijing and closing in on the Forbidden City!" a Zanon tactician blurted out.

"Identify, now!" the Captain ordered.

"On screen, sir!" A visual of Mechagodzilla with Titanosaurus on his back came up as the cybernetic duo reached the outskirts of the Forbidden City.

"Order Garasharp to attack! At once!"

*****

In the President's top secret War Room in Washington, the members of the United World Powers, the President, his Chief of Staff and several other subordinates watched as Mechagodzilla's and Titanosaurus' surveillance cameras activated.

"Hmmm... Zanons. Haven't seen hide nor hair of them in quite a long time," Argon remarked, taking note of their ship's design as it was shown via an orbiting satellite.

"You know who they are?" General Aso asked.

"We try to learn as much as we can about all the other various races that exist in the universe if we can. It is part of our military training on the... Simeon homeworlds," Bordu explained with a catch in his voice.

As Mechagodzilla entered the ancient city, Titanosaurus jumped off his back and landed hard on the age-old brick pavement. He quickly moved in, firing his missile turret, arm laser and cluster blasts while Mechagodzilla remained airborne, unloading with his eye beams for a combined assault on the serpentine kaiju's body. Garasharp was easily thousands of meters in length and dwarfed both mechs in size as it reared its cobra-like head up that by itself is was large as its assailants.

"Look at the size of that thing!" Bordu exclaimed. The kaiju's great mass added to its resiliency as the firepower it was being hit with sent chunks of flesh and blood splattering in all directions but it was only damaging the outer epidermal layers of the beast's skin. The weaponry wasn't penetrating deep enough to hit anything vital. Suddenly, Garasharp lashed out with its massive tail and slammed Mechagodzilla hard, knocking him out of the sky.

The cyborg went flying into the Hall of Supreme Harmony which was rather ironic, considering the violent circumstances. Garasharp reached down, snapping its huge jaws at Titanosaurus who rolled out of the way as it turned its glowing eyes at the cyborg. A pair of powerful eye beams plowed into him like a Mack truck. Even with his force field up, the sheer power of the beams pushed Titanosaurus all the way to the eastern corner of the Forbidden City, destroying countless pavilions along the way.

If not for their protective force fields, the beams that Garasharp was using would soon reduce him and Mechagodzilla to scrap in seconds.

"Will the force fields hold against that magnitude of firepower?" the President asked.

"I guess we will find out," Argon replied. Mechagodzilla rejoined the fray and landed directly in front of Garasharp, unloading everything he had at into the monster's hide but still there was no real penetration. The devilish serpent quickly brought its tail around as it fired a sonic blast from its tip that hit Mechagodzilla so hard that he flew even farther and smashed through the Five Phoenix Gate at the entrance to the Forbidden City. His metallic frame tore a trench through the center of Tianimen Square.

"I'm guessing now would be a bad time to ask if it would be at all possible to fight this thing without wrecking too much of China's most valued and ancient architecture?" Aso wondered.

"I wish I could say yes, General, but they are fighting machines, after all. And with highly destructive firepower. We didn't necessarily have them programmed with a lot of finesse," Argon admitted regrettably. All the while, Fumio quietly observed everything that was transpiring.

*****

Titanosaurus was moving around to the creature's rear, taking advantage of the brief distraction Mechagodzilla had provided as it moved its massive form amid the moderate cover. Garasharp kept moving slowly, bobbing its head, as if looking at where Mechagodzilla had landed. The mammoth snake beast brought its head down to almost street level and Titanosaurus leaped onto the back of his head. He hung on for dear life as the the kaiju flung its head in all directions, trying to get the cyborg off. Titanosaurus brought his laser cutter to bear on top of Garasharp's head, hoping that if he could hang on long enough and concentrate the beam, he would be able to breach the monster's skull.

Garasharp threw his head straight back, pile-driving Titanosaurus into the ground like a jack hammer. He then hit his stunned opponent with a sonic blast that sent him flying backwards and crashing into the Imperial Gardens at the far rear of the ancient city. Garasharp turned back around, only to see Mechagodzilla coming at him at full speed.

He kamikazeed right into the serpent's face like a battering ram, letting his speed, weight and momentum work for him as the dazed Garasharp fell off to one side, crashing into three of the nearby provincial temples and smashing them to splinters. Reeling from the initial impact himself, Mechagodzilla crashed down not too far away in the main courtyard of the Palace but quickly sprang back up again. Now angry, Garasharp rose up also, shrieking as he fired his eye beams once again.

Mechagodzilla started a low level flight pattern with the destructive blasts following as the serpent moved its head. Mechagodzilla circled around as Titanosaurus waited. As Garasharp brought the beams around, Titanosaurus threw the end of the creature's own tail into the blast. Garasharp roared in pain and anger as it got sheared off, leaving a blood-spewing severed stump.

Moving with a sudden burst of speed, he pounced on Mechagodzilla, wrapping him up in his constricting coils as pressure was applied. His force field kept the mech safe from being crushed but he was immobilized and being bathed in a point-blank blast of eye beams. The field was pushed to its limit as Titanosaurus moved in, unloading with his forearm laser which managed to obliterate Garasharp's right eye.

In a howl of pain, Garasharp threw his head back, breaking off his attack so that Mechagodzilla could struggle free. Flying up into the air, he brought his ultimate weapons to bear as plasma missiles loaded into his hands for firing. He hit Garasharp with a full salvo, causing the beast to bellow once more. Mechagodzilla followed up with some impaler missiles also loaded with plasma which stuck like darts in the open wounds that the previous salvo had made. With this two step process, the kaiju's thick skin was finally been pierced.

The kaiju swayed and smashed everything in sight as the burning plasma ate away at him from inside and out. Like any wounded animal, Garasharp lashed out, firing a beam from his remaining eye, only to have Titanosaurus leap into the path of it with his reflector dish engaged. The singular ray by itself still had tremendous power and started to push Titanosaurus back, even with Mechagodzilla behind him and pushing against his back with his feet digging into the brick and dirt of the courtyard.

When he finally came to a stop, Titanosaurus fired back the augmented beam and blew half of Garasharp's head and face off. With one final roar of misery, the titanic serpent crashed down into what remained of the Palace with a tremorous impact and moved no more.

Observing everything from aboard the star ship, the Zanon Captain angrily ordered its long-range laser cannon be prepared for firing. Back on Earth, a look of worry came across Argon's face Mechagodzilla's scanner readout appeared on screen. The construct had picked up a power surge in the planet's orbit and took off like a rocket up into the sky.

"This doesn't look good," Argon advised worriedly.

"What? What's going on?" King Antonio asked.

"Mechagodzilla's scanners are picking up a slow power build-up coming from the exact same coordinates as the Zanon ship."

"Meaning?" Captain Gordon asked.

"Meaning that the ship is either restarting its engines for departure or they are preparing to fire some kind of weapon," Argon explained as everyone in the room watched intently.

"Well, do something!" Aso blurted out frantically.

"Actually, General, Mechagodzilla is already on top of the situation, I do believe." The primary weapon of the Zanon star ships had been greatly improved since those used decades ago. When this beam hit, it would turn the entire city of Beijing into a crater. But as the cannon built up for its discharge, something was picked up on the ship's sensors. The view screen came on and the Zanons found Mechagodzilla hovering directly in front of the cannon. He wrapped his arms around it and pulled with all his mechanical might until the barrel was bent and crushed back into itself.

"Hold fire! Hold fire! That's an order!" the Zanon Captain screamed.

"It's too late, sir. The cannon is already discharging!" Mechagodzilla sped away from the ship as the built-up energy within the cannon back-fired into the craft itself and it exploded in a massive plume of laser energy and fire, completely incinerating, gutting and destroying the craft. The Zanon threat had been neutralized and Commander Argon cracked a smile as did Bordu. Everyone else breathed a labored sigh of relief.

"You can all rest easy now. The Zanons have been dealt with," Argon proclaimed as Gordon walked up and slapped the Simeon on the shoulder with a big grin.

"Masterfully done, Commander!" the Mu Empress complimented him.

"Thank you, your highness."

*****

In Beijing, Mechagodzilla had touched down and the devastating duo prepared to depart when suddenly, Garasharp lunged up with a roar. Apparently, the kaiju was not as dead as everyone had been led to believe. In one swift movement, he struck out like a cobra, snatching Titanosaurus up in its jaws and swallowing the cyborg whole.

"Titanosaurus!" Bordu yelled, believing that he had just watched one of their defenders get eaten. But as Garasharp turned towards Mechagodzilla, there was a sudden rumbling from within the beast as missiles, cluster blasts and lasers tore through its hide from the inside out and the kaiju shrieked in agony. A few moments later, its entire head exploded into a million pieces as Titanosaurus fell to the ground with a thud and Garasharp's mutilated, headless body landed behind him. The cyborg got up, covered in blood and guts and shook himself off almost like a wet dog.

"Now... it is over," Argon declared, looking back at the others in the room.

"That is good to hear. I don't think my heart could've taken much more of that," the Prime Minister confessed with a laugh.

"Yes, indeed. That was most difficult to watch," Fumio added in a tone that meant something else entirely as Argon eyed him cautiously. A few moments later, Mechagodzilla ignited his jet propulsion and took off back into the sky with Titanosaurus in tow.


CHAPTER 16

THE GUDIS GOSPEL

*click* What appeared to be yet another tele-vangelist suddenly appeared on every television screen around the world. A chorus of gospel singers hummed behind the charismatic fellow, slowly swaying back and forth, holding candles in their praying hands. The camera cut to a tight shot of the spiritualist as the choir faded to silence.

"LIVE FROM NEW YORK, IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT!" he screamed. "Well, okay... It really isn't Saturday and we aren't actually in New York... What's left of it anyway! Gee, I've always wanted to say that! Hah! What did Jim Belushi have that I don't?! In any case, we interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for something violent, offensive, tasteless and politically incorrect!" he went on before taking a brief pause.

"Well, anyhow... Moving right along, what's more fun than a Nazi with an Easy-Bake oven? What's more fun than kicking a sack full of puppies?! What's more fun than pushing a quadriplegic down a long flight of stairs?! Why, the GUDIS GOSPEL, that's what!"

"I know what you're thinking, friends. What is the GUDIS GOSPEL, you ask? Well, it is four simple rules that are quite easy to understand! You have the right to feel pain. You have the right to suffer. You have the right to experience an untimely death and should you wish to have an attorney present..." the preacher began as his eyes suddenly glowed a bright green. "I'll kill him, too!" Gudis finished with his trademark demonic laugh. He had commandeered a television station at an undisclosed location to pre-empt practically every broadcast still getting out. Using his spores, he had taken control of the necessary humans to serve as his drones, the choir behind him, studio technicians and others.

"But don't worry, friends. We are not all about doom and gloom here! We are also an educational show. Want to learn about human anatomy?" he squealed as he spun around and punched his right arm into one of the gospel singers. Gudis quickly ripped out an amazingly intact body part.

"See, kiddies? This is a spleen!" he hooted, holding it up to the camera with a wide-eyed grin as the singer collapsed in a bloody heap behind him.

"I know what's going through your mind now! How am I getting away with this without the F.C.C. yanking me off the air? Well, let's ask them! I've got the commissioners right here in our studio audience!" he yelled, pointing as the camera panned around to where they were seated in the front row, bound and gagged. Gudis then skipped happily over to the Chairman and put an arm around him and removed his gag with his other hand.

"Oh, God! Someone please help us! He's crazy! He's going to kill -mmpf," the unfortunate tried to shout before the Gudis stuffed the gag back in his mouth.

"See how much fun he's having?" Gudis grinned at the camera with his arm still around the politico and giving a thumbs-up with his free hand.

"Oh, look! I see someone in need of my healing power!" he suddenly bellowed, rushing up the aisle. He went over to a woman about six rows back, seated on the end. "Do not fear, my child. The Gudis is with thee!" He placed his right hand on her forehead as she shivered with fear, too petrified to move. Gudis suddenly heaved back and smacked her with so much force that he knocked her head off her body. It splattered against the side wall of the studio like an over-ripe grapefruit.

"You're healed!" he proclaimed, turning to smile at the camera with his arms outstretched as blood spurted in the air from the headless body before it fell over and rolled down the steps toward the stage. With the resulting shocked silence, Gudis shot an angry glance at a drone who missed his cue. Synthesized applause suddenly boomed through the studio's speakers.

"Sing it, ladies!" Gudis howled with his hand outstretched toward them. The choir erupted in a glorious chorus of voices as they danced and clapped their hands. The camera kept moving back and forth between them and the Gudis as he ripped someone's skull and spinal cord right out of their body and swung it around over his head. On the next cut, he had the skull and spine stretched out and was pretending to play it like an electric guitar. He then danced up the aisle, shaking his posterior at the camera for a close-up.

"Okay, that's enough singing!" Gudis yelled, suddenly pulling out a Gatling gun. He mowed down the entire choir, cutting them to pieces to fall in a mutilated, gory heap where they stood. There were muffled screams from the audience amid the deafening gunfire he directed at them, slaughtering every person in the studio. The Gudis then nonchalantly tossed the weapon aside and rushed up to the camera.

"You know the end is coming, folks. The Space Force Directive has conquered the United States. The Kilaaks are activating volcanos all over the globe. King Ghidorah and Death Ghidorah have drained vast amounts of this planet's vital Mana energy. Unnatural disasters of every imaginable kind are running rampant! And I, of course, have done my own small little part to contribute to the chaos. Sure, it ain't much but I do what I can. You, of course, realize what all this means. WE'RE ALL GOING TO HELL! And who better to take you there..." the Gudis said as the drone he was speaking through mutated into a human-sized version of his kaiju form. "... Than the devil himself!" he finished with a hideous cackle before ending the broadcast with an ominous fade-out.

CHAPTER 20

BLOOD LINES

The news spread quickly to Central City that the Mysterian effort to take over the Earth had been a failure once again. The planet, in its present state, was of no use to the Mysterians any more than Venus or Mercury was.

Very few ships and MOGERAs had made it away from the besieged North Pole base to return to Mars. Friends and family greeted the survivors warmly, the people of Central City knowing it wasn't the soldiers' fault for their defeat and the deaths of so many of their people. They had waited days after the last ships docked for Koban to return. When he didn't, the king was presumed dead. Some were relieved at this possibility and filled with silent joy. Others who had been loyal to the tyrant wept for days.

Rule of the remaining Mysterians had been left in the hands of Koban's second-in-command, Karta. As with the others in the king's elite circle of politicians and war officials, Karta believed in strict rule of the people but he didn't have the experience for it that Koban did. His dictatorship wasn't as harsh. When Koban was officially pronounced dead, the leaders conferred about who would succeed him. Everyone had heard about Koban ordering his son killed because he was deformed and Koban didn't want to perpetuate a 'tainted bloodline'.

Karta stepped forward to take the throne, stating that his position as second-in-command gave him the right. Still, the leaders quarreled because of his inexperience and young age. Some Kings were given their seat of power at a very young age but this was different. This time, they had to choose someone to start a new bloodline and they needed a properly prepared leader in light of their present situation. Two weeks later, the debate still raged on among the high Mysterian authority figures. Soon, they would discover that it wasn't necessary.

In Sector 12, Apartment Complex 12-C in Room 44D, a man and woman sat waiting for someone. The man slept while the woman read. There were few lights on in their quarters as it was very late and the artificial starlight had been activated hours ago. Their guests were ten minutes late already. In one of the two bedrooms slept a man of about twenty-one Earth years named Tidan. The man and woman had called him SON for every one of those years, although he was not related to them.

Both of Tidan's foster parents were part of a secret underground organization that had existed during the reign of Koban's father, the 'good years' they called that time. When Koban came to power and exerted his ruthless tyranny, the Mysterian Democratic Order was formed. Its purpose was to somehow end the tyrant's rule and ensure future generations would not go through such an ordeal as they had.

To most, the Order was just a myth. Some officials even denied its existence. As the time grew closer for the second invasion attempt of the Earth, the Order did not take as many risks as it had before. Koban didn't care about dealing with a small group of rebels but with his death, they could at last act on their plan that had been in development for twenty-one years.

A tap came at the door. The man awoke and joined his wife who was making her way to open it. Three men stepped inside.

"Good evening, Taran," the eldest addressed the husband. "I am sorry about our delay."

"My old friend!" he greeted him. "We have awaited this day for over two decades. A few minutes matters not as long as you three are here. Welcome, all of you."

"Thank you," the eldest replied. They sat down on the couch as Taran pulled his reclining chair to face them and his wife repositioned hers.

"So he is finally dead," the woman stated.

"Yes, Gera, he is. There is no possible way he could still be alive. How is the boy?"

"He is doing fine, as always," Taran replied. "He lost his job, along with everybody else who was working at the weapons facility. There is no need now that the Earth will be destroyed." The eldest man nodded his head, then looked out the window. From this apartment was a perfect view of the great tower where the politicians lived.

"He will have a job soon. I would not worry about that," the elder chuckled. The room was silent for a few moments.

"How will you make sure that Karta's forces don't try to kill him before we can have his DNA tested?" asked Taran.

"The Order has a hiding place for him. We will keep him safe there."

"And how can we make sure that everyone knows who Tidan is?"

"We will spread information about him to the higher authorities and to the people. Once the public sees the undeniable proof, they will demand that he be elevated to his rightful position or the government could face a revolt. Most of the people still hold to tradition, even if Koban did not. It is a win-win situation."

"Is there anything further we can do?"

"Taran, you have done more than anyone could have ever asked for! You gave up your son so that Tidan could live with you. You raised him as your own and showed him the world of the people, not the fantasy life of those rich warmongers in that tower. And you did this all for the survival of our race. For that we all are eternally grateful."

"Speaking of our son, he died thinking he was the heir, didn't he?"

"Yes, he did. He has always believed that ever since they were switched at birth."

"Good. At least he will not be angry with us. But I wish somehow that we could say we were sorry."

"For what it is worth, he did live a good life. My sources tell me that he did enjoy the pleasures of high society."

"I think it is time we stop talking about the past and look toward the future." Taran rose from his chair and disappeared into the darkness of the apartment. A few minutes later, he returned with the Mysterian in question. Having not had time to properly groom himself, his hair had numerous cowlicks.

The young man yawned before wiping the last traces of sleep from his eyes. When his vision cleared, he noticed the three visitors for the first time. The one in the middle was much older than the other two but his face was warm and friendly. Taran had Tidan sit in his chair and fetched another from the kitchen. He returned and seated himself beside his adopted son.

"Who are these people, Father?" he asked.

"Tidan, these are the leaders of the organization your mother and I are a part of. You remember the Mysterian Democratic Order? They are here to see you."

"What would they want with me?"

"I will let them tell you." Tidan looked into the wizened face of the eldest.

"Tidan," he began. "My name is Karnan. As you well know, Koban is dead and without an heir, or so everyone thinks. My boy, your whole life from your birth until this moment, has been all part of an intricate plan. You are destined for great things that you are completely oblivious to."

"That is all well and fine, sir, but how does - did - Koban and his dead heir fit into this?"

"The heir is not dead by any means. In fact, he is very much alive. He just doesn't know of his birthright yet."

"That's great. But what do I -" Tidan froze in mid-sentence when it struck him. Hard. He wasn't, he couldn't be! "That's impossible!" he gasped. "I can't be!"

"Believe me, my friend. You are."

"Then how do you explain my parents?! I have lived here all of my life and never once did I hear of this!"

"We are not your parents," Taran said gently. "It was all part of the plan. You were to be raised with the common society to learn the troubles of the people. They wanted to make sure such tyranny would never exist again so we switched our son with you at birth. That is who was killed. You are the rightful heir."

"Then it was all a lie? Why didn't you tell me sooner?"

"We figured Koban would likely die in the invasion. We did not want to ruin the possibility of you proclaiming your bloodline and die at his hands." Tidan put his head in his hands and ran his fingers through his hair. He sat for many minutes thinking about it all.

It was so much to take in! When he finally did rise, the warm faces were still there, smiling at him.

"I will need proof. I want DNA tests."

"You will have them," the eldest assured him.

"This better not be some sick joke..."

"It is not," the eldest solemnly assured him. "Tidan, you are the new King of the Mysterians."

OUT TAKES

OUTPOST #31

In 1982 at the Antarctic research station, its tenants encountered a pair of mad Norwegians chasing a dog and shooting at it. Pretty soon, the Thing was caught trying to assimilate the facility's huskies. An investigation led to discovering that the creature had been found near the wreckage of an alien spacecraft. After a series of dealings with the alien, the outpost was completely destroyed, leaving only two survivors, neither of whom knew who was an alien and who wasn't.

A few weeks later, the McMurdo base noticed a lack of response coming from the area staked out by Outpost #31. An expeditionary team was formed to travel there by dog sled as the weather was too rough for flying. As they got closer to the site, the men became restless. They had been having strange dreams lately and this disturbed them. They were not in a very good mood and bickering amongst themselves was not uncommon.

A week later, they finally reached the outpost and set up camp before beginning their investigation. The compound was pretty much destroyed, its buildings blasted and burned quite severely but enough remained to rummage through to search for clues. The next few days had them slowly unraveling the truth about what had happened but things were not as they seemed. Something was stalking them.

More wild dreams, paranoia and tension ensued until all members of the party were either assimilated and killed or committed suicide, but not before being able to send a message back to McMurdo telling them not to attempt to rescue them.

A few weeks later, a helicopter landed near the site. Men in white bio-hazard suits cleaned up the place, taking many items with them. One Thing fragment was found and placed in a special cryogenic container and labeled Bio Sample #1. When they were finished, the helicopter took off. In the ruins of Outpost #31, a crab-like creature scurried out and watched it disappear over the horizon.

KUMASOGAMI

The aging Okinawan priest poked at the beautiful writings on the ancient stone walls. Long ago, the creature known as King Seesar had risen to defend the Okinawans against invaders from the mainland. When he had been studying to come to his current position, the guardian had again risen to fight the metallic space devil the mainlanders had called 'Mechagodzilla'. King Seesar would forever protect his people and all that they stood for, of that he was certain.

Suddenly, the old man's walking stick broke through the wall of the cavern. Puzzled, he peered into the opening it had made but saw only darkness beyond. He knocked down the rest of the wall, which was surprisingly thin and brittle. When he stepped forward, he felt a breeze that chilled him to the bone. He grabbed his lantern from the cave he had been in and returned to the opening once more. His light didn't even reach the walls which seemed to be miles away.

He came to one more quickly than he expected and held up his lantern to stare at more ancient writings. What he read made him shudder in disbelief.

By the time these words have reached the eyes of our ancestors, our people will be confined to this sacred land and their righteous beliefs taught little elsewhere. However, man may once again recognize the power of the Okinawans.
Soon, a red star shall set quickly in the north but the flames of its wrath will destroy all of our good land.
A black mountain will consume the cities of the mainland and two monsters will lay claim to destroy the world.
The evils from above will arrive to shake the foundations of the very Earth but their return is merely a thunder strike in the raging typhoon.
It is not to be long before King Seesar will fail but his loss is not to be mourned. A new guardian shall rise to save the world. No evil shall ever go unchallenged by the powers of good.

Astonished at these revelations, the priest stumbled out of the caverns and sat down to gather his thoughts on what he had just learned. King Seesar will fail

The idea was unthinkable! It was against everything he had been raised to believe! He shook his head and then held it in his hand. Suddenly, the old priest heard a terrifying shrieking noise and looked up at the sky. A blazing ball of flame shot by overhead, blasting downward and nearly knocking him backwards. It disappeared to the north as he gathered himself together and stood up. Soon, he felt a sting of heat near his foot. What appeared to be a tiny, marble-sized ball of lava was slowly melting the rock around it.

It then began to distort and grow rapidly. Squinting at the great heat it was giving off, the Okinawan took a step backward. The ball suddenly sprouted what appeared to be fingers. With a horrified expression on his face, he backed against a stone wall as the magma assumed its true form. The surface cooled and hardened but veins became visible with boiling liquid rock running through them. The creature formed a dragon-like head with horns jutting out of its cheeks and cranium. It had a humanoid shape but the resemblance ended there. The monster stared down at the terrified cleric with a single, blazing eye.

Without a sound, a blade shot out of its arm. The priest turned to run but Kumasogami jammed the appendage straight through him and the man turned to ash instantly. He then turned to the massive caverns before him and growled before walking in. The heat radiating from his body scorched the ancient pigments the early Okinawans used to paint their prophecies. Kumasogami wandered deep into the caves, unwittingly and uncaringly destroying thousands of years of recorded history. The intense temperatures began to corrupt the cave walls themselves, the rock melting wherever the creature remained in one spot too long.

As Kumasogami entered the opening the priest had made, the walls behind him caved in completely, cutting off any escape route. If he noticed this, he didn't show it and continued on through the vast cavern, finally coming to rest at its center. Kumasogami felt a charge of energy run through him. It felt good, a truly awesome sensation. He flung his head around toward its source, hoping to find more of it. The energy field suddenly enveloped him and he screeched in glee as he felt the power of the ancient gods of war coursing through his magma-filled veins. All of this occurred in absolute darkness, the only light emanating from the glowing red fire flowing along his body. An observer would have noted that the light shone brighter and the cavern got increasingly hotter. Kumasogami began to grow in size and power but a wicked soul still plagued his body.

MOON BASE

Kenji Mitasawa stared at the spectacle that was the Moon Base. It had begun as just an outpost; little more than an advanced Moon Lander Module and several other essential structures beside the rocket port for the old Moonlight SY-3. Now, the base was a steadily growing community.

A network of underground tunnels eliminated the need for above-ground structures which were subject to damage from micro-meteoroids and solar radiation. Living quarters were less than comfortable but they were better than the tiny bunks on the Lander and old Crew Module.

Standing proudly out on the refurbished rocket port was the brand new Moonlight SY-7. It was much faster than the older ships and equipped with a variety of weapons to defend itself against hostile aliens. A number of space-suited figures bounded about, connecting lines to fuel it for the trip home.

Suddenly, everything went dark. Kenji came out of his reveries and looked around, confused. He quickly realized what a power outage meant and jumped to his feet, crashing into the ceiling above him in the low gravity. A number of people were already stumbling about, uttering panicked curses as they tried to figure out what had happened. Without power, the life support systems would stop working. All the air and water circulation pipes around the Moon Base would be worthless. Everybody would suffocate on their own fumes within a matter of hours but the sheer excess heat generated by the people themselves would probably knock out everyone before then.

Kenji looked outside and saw the space-suited technicians desperately bounding back toward the airlock but it was also electrically operated. They would never make it through. As he watched in horror, the SY-7 shook violently, then slowly began to melt. Its gleaming silver surface turned a bright red as it dissolved into molten slag, drooping down to the lunar surface. A strange figure walked through the remains of the once glorious spaceship. The creature had a hardened lava-like skin with glowing red veins running across its body. Kenji could see the heat radiating off its body. It was about twice the height of a man and had a humanoid shape. Its head had a number of rock-like horns jutting out from around its glowing red 'eyes' and toothy mouth. It turned toward the astronauts running away from it.

Looking strangely slow in the lunar gravity, the creature lifted its right hand which began to change shape. Its fingers grew outward and became what appeared to be arrows while the left hand formed a bow. With a morbid fascination, Kenji watched as it aimed an 'arrow' at one of the fleeing technicians. It shot away and struck the hapless man who blew up instantly. The creature then turned quickly and killed three more of the workers. Out of arrows, it changed its bow back into a hand but the right hand became a saber. It charged the last few astronauts and stabbed each through the heart although merely puncturing their space suits would have killed them.

Seeing that they were all dead, the creature reared its head back and opened its mouth as if to roar in triumph. Sound does not carry through the vacuum of space, making the scene somehow even more frightening to Kenji than it already was. The creature then turned its fiery gaze upon the Base itself and seemed to be looking directly at him. He suppressed a scream of primal fear and turned away. Kenji knew it was futile to run as there was nowhere to go. Once the monster penetrated the Moon Base's walls, all of the air would be sucked out into space. The quick and violent decompression would cause its occupants to bleed from every pore and opening in their body before blowing up.

Kenji ran like an animal cornered by a predator, uselessly driving itself deeper into the hunter's deadly grasp. He felt his ears pop and screamed but blood burst forth from his mouth, ears and eyes. He felt the most unfathomable pain bestowed upon a single mortal man until death finally laid its merciful hand upon him.

The creature was knocked backwards by the force of the decompression but was otherwise unharmed. It felt several bits of unidentifiable objects strike its body and incinerate. Kumasogami's job was done, and quite simply. He turned towards the lunar horizon and saw the transport coming towards him, a fireball which soon revealed itself to be a Kilaak ship. The creature felt itself being lifted into the ship's cargo hold and his body go limp.

The Kilaaks briefly inspected the ruins of the Moon Base before a beam of fire shot out from the flames encasing the ship itself. The remains were blasted into oblivion, leaving what looked like nothing more than a newly-formed crater on the surface of the Moon. The Kilaak ship then turned and headed for Earth.

ISHIKAGI ISLAND

On the island of Ishikagi in the Okinawan Island chain, something terrible stirred deep within the bowels of the Earth; a remnant of an ancient and timeless primordial force. As Earth's Mana was suddenly weakened, it reached a new level of consciousness within its earthly confines. It wanted out and if the Mana decreased, it would indeed rise again and may the Gods have mercy on whatever got in its way.

ALL MONSTERS ATTACK

"And so, once again our world will be united. After thousands of years, we shall be one nation; one people!" The huge crowd gathered at the United Nations Building in New York City roared their approval. The applause was thunderous as Emperor Antonio of Seatopia stepped away from the podium which had been set up in front of the great edifice. His son and officials of state were by his side.

He had just finished addressing the people of Earth who had finally been able to resolve their differences and work together as one for a world of perfect peace. The King, Fumio and members of the United Nations were still shaking hands with one another when the ground began to rumble. The earth shook violently, causing Antonio and those beside him to lose their balance. Buildings began to shake and shift and people started screaming. Then it stopped, just as quickly as it had begun.

The crowd and U.N. members tried to regain their composure. One ambassador helped Antonio to his feet as everyone looked about for the cause of the strange occurrence. The ground before them burst open with explosive force, breaking apart the nearby streets. People, cars and rubble were thrown everywhere. A tremendous roar echoed from the crater as a gigantic head rose out of the ground. Those who were still alive looked up at a giant monster: Baragon.

*****

In Berlin, a gray-haired man was drinking tea and reading the newspaper. It was full of disturbing news about a hurricane already threatening several cities in Florida. Thank God, he thought. No such things happen here. Then the sirens went off. People stopped dead in their tracks and looked up.

The old man rose from his seat and walked into the street. Suddenly, a high-pitched noise, faint at first but steadily growing louder, could be heard. He figured it was coming from the north and turned his head. A huge bird flew overhead and then it was gone. A split second later, the shockwave hit. The tremendous power of the sonic boom blasted through the surrounding buildings, blowing the glass out of windows which showered down upon the screaming crowds that ran in every direction. Everything - people, buses, chairs - went flying across the street.

Rodan turned and swooped over another portion of the city, turning its many structures into a massive ruin.

*****

Hordes of screaming citizens fled in panic across London Bridge. Beside them, a giant sea snake wormed its way to the surface of the river below. It then made its way through the streets and between the buildings until coming to the foot of Big Ben. Looking up at the great clock, it slithered upward and with lightning speed, wrapped its constricting coils around the tower. With its body spread along the structure's full height, the beast tightened its grip like a python and proceeded to crush the famous landmark.

*****

At their base, the Nebulans watched as one monitor after another came to life with images of destruction and ruin. Monsters were everywhere!

"What is going on out there?!" the commanding officer shouted. "Stop them at once! This is outrageous!"

"Sir, we have no control over the monsters," a subordinate reminded him.

"What? Are they doing this on their own?" their supervisor wondered in disbelief.

"No, sir. It appears as if they are being given orders." He sat back in his chair with a look of astonishment on his face as the holographic viewscreen now showed Varan destroying parts of Paris.

Little did they realize that far away on Planet X, Ken'trus was smiling an evil grin as he watched his plan unfolding with great delight. Soon, his army would make its move.

MIDDLE EAST ROUND-UP

"All we need now is something to put a little icing on this cake for the peace of mind of the rest of the world," Gordon informed Commander Argon.

"What exactly do you have in mind, Captain?"

"I was thinking of... a goodwill gesture of some kind perhaps? Something that will make the entire world sit up and take notice?" Argon brought his hand up to his chin as he gave the idea some thought.

*****

In the Middle East, several members of the terrorist Taliban organization ran screaming for their lives. When they reached a network of elaborate caves, one of them ran up to their leader, Osama Bin Laden, who looked none too pleased.

"Useless coward! How dare you show fear! You will fight against all infidels to the end!"

"We cannot fight demons, sir!"

"Demons? What demons?"

"The demons who have come to punish us!" the terrified soldier screamed as he pointed up towards a nearby hillside.

"What insanity is this? I see nothing! There are not any demons, just despicable American devils!"

"No, sir! This is not the Americans!"

"It matters not, fool! Allah will give us the strength to com... bat... any... force?" Osama trailed off in mid-sentence as what had the Taliban running scared came into view. Tromping over the hill were Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus. "Allah preserve us!" he shrieked.

As the two constructs advanced, not all of the Taliban warriors were afraid to fight and brought various tactics into play. Traps, artillery fire and land mines were tried but meant less than nothing to the two juggernauts. One soldier with enough explosives strapped to him to level a football stadium rushed up, screaming the Taliban war cry as he ran up to Titanosaurus' ankle before exploding into a million pieces.

When the smoke cleared, Titanosaurus stopped briefly to look down at the little stain on his foot before turning to Mechagodzilla. They both looked down and then at each other as if that had been the dumbest thing either of their memory banks had ever attempted to process.

Osama and his highest-ranking militants hid in one of the countless caves within the catacombs that dotted the countryside.

"Here we are safe and if the demons do find us, we will fight them together!" he proclaimed. Seconds later, a monstrous hand came crashing into their hideout, ripping it wide open. "Die well, my brothers!" Osama squealed as he turned tail and ran but the hand grabbed the terrorist before he could get very far. Titanosaurus shifted his grip to where Osama was dangling by his vest, hooked by one of the kaiju's claws.

He squirmed uselessly with his arms and legs flailing in a most embarrassing fashion. Special DNA specific sensors had allowed the two constructs to track him without any difficulty no matter where he might try to hide. Tactics that normally spelled doom for American soldiers were useless against the two behemoths.

Titanosaurus stared at the bizarre human with a bemused expression and tilted his head sideways. Osama was screaming obscenities in his native tongue as Mechagodzilla looked on, slowly swiveling his head side to side. Cameras on board recorded everything, as well as sending a live feed to the United Nations Building in New York and G-FORCE headquarters in Japan.

In the main conference room at G-FORCE, General Aso, his subordinates, Prime Minister Koizumi, Captain Gordon, Commander Argon and a number of Simeons, including Bordu, watched what was transpiring. Argon turned with a sly grin on his face to everyone present.

"Will this do?"

MEGALON VS Z-TON

At the Ashu Enshurin Forest Reserve in Kyoto, Megalon quickly dove off to one side as the monster Z-Ton fired his dreaded heat blast, practically melting a rocky crag into a puddle of goo. The Seatopian Guardian had learned early on that the 5,000-degree Celsius fireballs were to be avoided at all cost.

He didn't know where this thing had come from but he was determined to stop it. After the Z-Ton and Gomora slipped away from the Simeon base, they had gone off in different directions, letting their curiosity and bloodlust guide them. Now, the surrounding forest was ablaze and walls of flame rose high into the sky. Megalon tucked and rolled to get right in Z-Ton's face for a physical exchange and clubbed him with a right drill to the side of the head. As the monster went down, he brought his right foot up in a roundhouse kick, letting the momentum of his swing bring it into the side of its head.

Both kaiju were quickly up again and Megalon took to the air, raining his horn beam and napalm pods down on his adversary. Z-Ton engaged his force field, deflecting the assault and firing back with his hand lasers. Megalon dodged as he came back down, burrowing into the earth. Z-Ton looked all about him, cautiously waiting as he prepared to use another fireball. He didn't expect Megalon to suddenly reappear right underneath him, unleashing his horn beam and napalm pods yet again. This time, he was too quick for Z-Ton to dodge or deflect the attacks. The alien creature took some serious damage as it staggered back.

Z-Ton looked up from assessing his wounds to see Megalon charging in with his right arm drill spinning. He tried to sidestep but it bit into his left shoulder. Trying to retaliate with his right hand laser, the proud knight of Seatopia ducked and came back with an uppercut, stunning the powerful monster.

In anger and desperation, Z-Ton threw up his force field right in Megalon's face, sending him flying backwards and landing with a THUMP! He looked up to see another fireball coming at him and rolled out of harm's way at the last possible second. As he got back up, a right punch to the face, followed by a low sweep-kick directly into the back of his legs put him down once again.

Z-Ton leaned down for a point-blank fire blast but Megalon swung his left drill up, smashing off Z-Ton's right antenna. The alien stumbled backward, clutching at the wound. Megalon flew straight for Z-Ton who could not use his force field without both antennae. The ancient deity drove his horn directly into his belly. Z-Ton's body shook and convulsed violently from the vast amounts of energy forced into it. He managed to pull the horn free and tossed Megalon through the air and away from him. Heaving back, Z-Ton brought forth a massive focused surge of fiery energy of his own, directly at the Seatopian hero.

As Z-Ton unloaded the concentrated beam from his face, Megalon brought his drill blades together to shield himself. They began to super-heat and glowed red hot but he held his ground, even managing to walk towards the alien as he pushed against the onslaught. When he got closer, Z-Ton blasted other parts of his body with his hand lasers, cutting deep wounds into the kaiju's exoskeleton but Megalon fought the pain and kept coming.

The guardian was almost within arm's reach when he somersaulted toward Z-Ton while simultaneously uncrossing his blades in an outward sweeping motion that deflected the beam in two different directions beneath him. As he came back down, he slashed his right drill like a sword across Z-Ton's face, cleaving a massive chunk off. The kaiju staggered back in shock and pain. Before he could react, Megalon charged forward with his blazing hot drills spinning and plunged both deep into his chest, curling them upward as he buried his arms to the elbows in the seijin's torso. He then wrenched both arms outward in a double back-handed slashing motion. Z-Ton was torn in half from the waist up and slowly fell over backwards to the ground in a gory, disgusting heap.

Megalon looked down at his drills which were now white-hot from a combination of the beam and Z-Ton's 5,000-degree blood. As he held them out, they actually sagged when they reached their melting point. He gazed at them in disbelief but as they started to cool down, he got an idea and looked over at the burning remains of Z-Ton. The god of Seatopia lumbered over to his enemy's corpse and plunged his drills into the blood-soaked entrails that exceeded the temperature of molten lava. Megalon held them there until the blades were once again pliable. He then slammed and clanged them together as a blacksmith would shape and temper a sword.

The echo of colliding metal could be heard throughout the countryside as Megalon shaped and reforged his aged and worn drills. When he was finished and they had cooled, sunlight reflected blindingly off his gleaming weapons as it did before age, wear and tear had taken their toll. His drills were now stronger and sharper than ever before and an amazing sight to behold. Megalon held them high as he uttered a roar of triumph to the heavens above. His ancient and most-trusted weapons had been given a new lease on life in a baptism of blood and fire. If there was ever a time that Megalon was ready to challenge his enemies, it was now.

AWAKENING

As Ghidorah took in more of the Earth's vital and precious Mana, a timeless fiend from the past had lain dormant below Ishikagi, Okinawa. Now, it came fully into consciousness, fueled by a rage to kill and destroy as the shroud of energy that once kept it in check was ripped away at last. It began to move up through the Earth's crust, making its way to the surface.

CAL-TIKI

Off the coast of Ishigaki, a Muuvian submarine technician picked up some bizarre energy readings and called the Captain over to take a closer look.

"Where are they coming from?"

"The island, sir," he explained. The Captain went over to the ship's periscope and grasped its side handles to bring it up. Gazing through it at maximum magnification, he saw something moving across the landscape that sent a chill through the normally unshakable and fearless officer.

"What is it, Captain? What's wrong, sir?" another officer asked, taking notice of the his suddenly grave and pale expression. But the Captain did not hear their words, or anything else for that matter. He was lost in thought, reminiscing about the ancient tales of Muuvian lore from his childhood. One of the ancient legends spoke of a terrible force of nature that existed centuries ago when there lived a now extinct offshoot race of the Muuvians known as the Lemurians. The creature in question bore the name Cal-Tiki and the Lemurians worshiped it during their time on Earth.

Legend said it would awaken and consume anything that lived if the natural balance or order of the planet's life force was disturbed or damaged in any way. It was also said that 65 million years ago, a terrible force of evil referred to only as The King of Terror arrived on Earth, initiating Cal-Tiki's revival. The evil from beyond eventually wiped the planet clean of substantial life, after which Cal-Tiki went dormant again.

The description of Cal-Tiki was what the Captain remembered above all else: a shapeless moving blob that glowed a luminescent green color, which was exactly what he was looking at now.

"Notify G-FORCE immediately and get me a direct line to General Aso at once!" the Captain ordered.

SABOTAGE

The United World Powers representatives made their way towards a massive chamber sealed off by a huge set of double doors with two armed guards standing before them.

"Where is Fumio?" King Antonio asked suddenly.

"Mister Subo regrets to inform us that for reasons of a personal nature, he will not be able to join us for the tour, ladies and gentlemen," the Prime Minister advised.

"Indeed..." Commander Argon muttered under his breath.

"And Captain Gordon?" the Mu Empress asked.

"He is currently on standby with the GOTENGO but asked me to accompany the alliance on this tour in his stead, your highness," First Officer Nanbara explained.

"As you can see, the lifeform known as Cal-Tiki has been contained here in the facility's cryo chamber until the proper disposal methods can be arranged," General Aso began the presentation.

"And what are the plans for this dangerous organism?" the Mu Empress asked.

"As you may or may not know, fire is the primary weakness of this creature. Eventually, there are plans to dump it into an active volcano."

"And you are sure that it is safe to keep it here while these arrangements are being made?" Commander Argon questioned.

"Completely. I assure you, we have nothing whatsoever to fear. Now, if you will just follow me over in this direction, I will show you the central control room," the General gestured as they headed down a long corridor and through another pair of double doors.

In another part of the installation, an alarm was triggered and blared throughout the complex, startling everyone present. The two guards quickly began to look around, wondering what was happening.

"This is Station 4. We have a fire alarm sounding. Is this a drill? Over," one of them asked over his radio.

"No drill was scheduled. We're checking out the premises in our sector now. Over," a voice replied.

"Understood. Emergency sweep being initiated. Report back when completed. Over and out," the guard replied before returning the radio to his belt. He and his partner made a mad dash for the doors as a patient and hidden observer made his move.

"What is going on?" the Mu Empress asked.

"It is nothing. Just a drill or a minor malfunction of some kind, I am sure," Aso reassured the congregation. The guards finished their sweep and returned to their post, only to discover that the cryo chamber's temperature controls had been tampered with.

"What the hell?!" one of them blurted as he quickly punched in the access code to open the doors. As they opened, a tentacle shot forth, ensnaring the unfortunate man and jerking him inside, kicking and screaming. Panicking, his partner opened fire with his side arm which only managed to crack and splinter more of the ice that had been encasing Cal-Tiki. A few moments later, a second strand came forth, grabbing the other guard as well. When they were both consumed, Cal-Tiki began to expand its mass to break free of its icy prison. The sound of rending and tearing metal could be heard echoing throughout the facility.

"What the devil is happening?" King Antonio asked. General Aso was at a loss for words.

"I am really not liking this," Argon muttered, more to himself than anyone else. A group of heavily armed soldiers with flame throwers jogged by the visitors. Nanbara grabbed one of them by the shoulder.

"What is going on?!" he demanded.

"Containment breach. Cal-Tiki has escaped somehow!" the man answered frantically as he pulled free and rushed to catch up to the rest of the containment squad. But just as they reached the end of the corridor, the monstrosity exploded through the doors with tentacles flying in all directions. Many of the men were caught by surprise and several were entangled and consumed within moments.

Others who managed to stay out of reach unloaded with their flame throwers as they backed away from the steadily advancing abomination. But as parts of the organism caught fire, eruptions of water surged forth from within Cal-Tiki's mass to extinguish the flames.

"What is happening? Why aren't the flame throwers working?!" the Prime Minister demanded.

"The ice from the cryo chamber! Cal-Tiki must have consumed some of it and melted it down as water to add to its mass. It's using it to defend itself against the flame throwers!" Nanbara shouted worriedly.

"Everyone needs to be evacuated. Now!" Argon decided.

"Ladies and gentlemen. Please follow me to the nearest emergency exit!" the General yelled, leading the way. They prepared to leave but Commander Argon bolted in the direction the containment squad had taken, grabbing a flame thrower that had been in the possession of a now dead and absorbed lab worker.

"Commander Argon! What are you doing?" the Prime Minister shouted after him.

"Get everyone out of here. Now!" he called back as he dodged a tentacle.

"Commander! You must come with us!" King Antonio yelled desperately.

"I said, get out of here! Unless this damned thing is kept at bay, it will catch up and kill all of you before you can make it out!" Argon roared. Just then, Nanbara rushed over to assist him, grabbing a flame thrower as well and cutting loose on Cal-Tiki whose appendages recoiled as the fiery gel hit them.

"Nanbara!? This is insane! We can't leave you both behind!" the Prime Minister insisted.

"Then we'll make it easy for you!" Nanbara replied as he spun around and fired his weapon in their general direction. The group quickly took off running.

"You should have left with the others!" Argon informed him.

"What? And let you have all the fun?" he yelled back as a tentacle suddenly wrapped around his ankle and pulled him down. He hit the floor and lost his flame thrower as he was pulled towards Cal-Tiki's writhing mass. Suddenly, a jet of fire from Argon reduced the tendril to ash and he scurried back to reclaim his weapon.

"If we survive this, remind me to have a serious discussion with you about what your definition of fun is," Argon shouted over the roar of the fiery blasts they were laying down. They had to rely on their agility and highly-trained reflexes to avoid Cal-Tiki's grasp but it was a losing battle as the creature was still advancing and they were starting to get dangerously low on fuel. Realizing this, Nanbara made a fateful decision and slammed the nozzle of his flame thrower against Argon's head, knocking him backwards and across the floor.

"What are you doing!?!" he roared.

"Saving your sorry butt, Commander!" Nanbara replied with a sly grin as he quickly moved towards a console on the wall and slammed a button on it, bringing down a set of blast doors that separated him from the Simeon.

"Nanbara, no!" he screamed as he sprang back up and charged at the door, pounding away on it. "Nanbara, open the doors!"

"Can't do that, Commander. If one of us has to get out of this alive, it has to be you."

"Unacceptable! Open these doors now! That's an order!"

"You may be a Commander in the Simeon Army, Argon, but you're not my commanding officer. And even if you were, I still wouldn't open those doors! I'm just another soldier, Commander. Your people need you. I'm expendable. You're not."

"Expendable, my ass! Now open these damned doors!" But there was no answer as Nanbara was now fighting off Cal-Tiki with everything he had, but to no avail. A few moments later, his fuel tank was dry and a mass of tentacles rushed towards him. On the other side of the blast doors, Argon suddenly heard his screams.

"Nanbara! NO!" he yelled but he knew it was too late. An extreme amount of pressure began to push against the blast doors and Argon took off running. He managed to make it outside just as Cal-Tiki literally caused the entire compound to explode from the inside out. Just then, a military jeep rushed over to pick him up.

"They told us that you and First Officer Nanbara were still inside. Where is he?" the driver asked.

"He... he didn't make it," Argon admitted forlornly as he climbed in. They quickly took off, with one of Cal-Tiki's tentacles missing them by inches.

*****

Cal-Tiki moved ever closer to Kitakyushu as the UWP leaders watched from a safe distance. All hope seemed lost when the ground began to rumble and shake.

"What is going on now?" the Prime Minister wondered, his nerves already having been pushed to their limit. Just then, Megalon rose up from beneath the earth, standing between the city and the advancing green mass.

"That, ladies and gentlemen, is our salvation!" King Antonio declared with pride. Cal-Tiki attacked immediately as several tendrils shot forth, wrapping around Megalon who responded by firing off both his horn beam and napalm pods. The beam did nothing but when the pods made contact and exploded, it recoiled and the tendrils pulled away from the Seatopian defender.

Megalon fired again but this time, the blob launched itself into the air and over the attack, crashing down on top of its quarry. Seconds later, Megalon surged forth from beneath the earth a few hundred feet away and unloaded more of his projectiles. As they detonated on the writhing nightmare's mass, it dispersed its water deposits to put out the flames. Megalon fired another pod volley but Cal-Tiki parted his body where they would have hit. The napalm exploded harmlessly on the ground. A massive balled-up tentacle nearly half Megalon's size sprang forward and punched into him like a battering ram. The kaiju went flying through the air and crashed to the ground.

As Megalon got back up, Cal-Tiki was on him in a flash. Another massive mound of the organism wrapped itself around the entire top half of his body. Megalon tried to use his spinning drills but they didn't have any affect on the gelatinous creature. By chance, he managed to spit up a pod that detonated on the ground in front of him. Megalon forced himself down on the flames, making Cal-Tiki let go.

More tentacles shot forth and Megalon took to the air, raining down one barrage after another as Cal-Tiki tried to back away from the relentless assault. The living protoplasm retaliated by ripping up a huge boulder and hurling it. Megalon barely dodged but as he veered around it, his foot was snagged by a high-reaching tentacle that jerked him out of the sky and brought him crashing down hard. Winded, Megalon got thrown into a rock formation and then wrenched back up and slammed down a third time. More tendrils moved towards him as he used his drills to fend them off but one wrapped around his left leg from behind and yanked him up, then hurled him directly into the center of Cal-Tiki's mass. He was sucked in almost instantly.

Moments passed until suddenly, a bright yellow glow could be seen emanating and growing within the blob. There was an incredible explosion as Cal-Tiki was completely engulfed in flames. Megalon erupted from the burning monstrosity which twisted and writhed amidst the fiery maelstrom. The guardian had used his solar blast attack to practically incinerate Cal-Tiki from the inside out. He fell to his knees as he watched the horrid abomination burn to ash before him. Megalon suffered terrible burns from the acidic digestive compounds within the creature but his exo-skeleton protected him to some extent. After resting for a few more moments, the great Seatopian guardian turned and burrowed out of sight.

*****

At a nearby hospital, Captain Gordon ran as fast as he could, practically mowing down anyone unfortunate enough to step into his path. When he arrived at his destination, he found the rest of the UWP leaders present who immediately let him into the room. He slowly stepped towards the bed where the badly mutilated Nanbara laid. He had survived being enveloped by Cal-Tiki as had a few others but obviously, he did not have long to live. Gordon leaned down by his bedside and carefully wrapped his right hand around what little remained of Nanbara's.

"I - Is everyone sa - safe?" he rasped, barely able to speak.

"Yes. You did yourself, me and your country proud, Nanbara," Gordon told him, trying very hard not to be overwhelmed by his emotions.

"G - good. I - I wa - want you to know tha - that it was... my... choice," Nanbara whispered as he tried to talk through the obvious agony he was in. Gordon simply nodded as he struggled to say what he had to. "I wa - want yo - you to know, Ca - Captain. I have n - no... regrets. A - and tha - that I... I wou - would do - it all over again if... I, ha - had the choice."

"I know, soldier. I know. You are, without a shadow of a doubt, the best damned First Officer I have ever served with or ever will," the Captain assured him. Nanbara struggled to form a smile on his face which was mostly melted down to the bone with hardly any flesh left. A few seconds later, his hand went limp and slipped out of Gordon's grasp. The alliance members hung their heads in mourning for their fallen comrade. Fumio had just arrived and stood in the doorway.

"Captain Gordon. Please allow me to offer my condolences for the passing of one of the bravest soldiers I have ever met," the Chairman offered but Gordon's only response was to slowly turn in his direction with a look of utter hatred and rage upon his face. He suddenly lunged, decking Fumio with a right hook directly to his temple.

"You son of a bitch! I know you had something to do with this! You weren't there when it happened!" Gordon seethed as he reached down for him but several orderlies and security personnel quickly mobbed the Captain, trying to restrain him.

"Have you gone mad, you detestable moron!?" Fumio snarled, holding his hand up to where Gordon's punch had connected as everyone in the room looked on in a state of shock.

"Captain! What is the meaning of this?!" General Aso demanded.

"As God is my witness, I swear I will kill you! Do you hear me?!" Gordon roared.

"Get him out of here and detain him immediately!" General Aso ordered as the Captain was dragged away, kicking and screaming.

GUDIS MEETS KUBOTA

"Well, sir?"

"All is well, Kubota. They fell for the fabricated missile footage hook, line and sinker. And now, both Captain Gordon and the Simeons are out of the way. Gigan can deal with Titanosaurus one-on-one and will do the same with the other kaiju as well. When he has finished inspecting the island, send him directly to Tokyo to start leveling everything. The UWP will never know what hit them," Fumio gloated with a sickening sense of satisfaction as he walked up to the Viceroy.

"Finally, our plans are coming to fruition and we will at last have the perfect peace we have long desired, my old friend," he went on as he placed his hand on his shoulder. Fumio then began to laugh and Kubota joined in until a gun shot rang out. The laughter stopped as Fumio looked down to see a bloody hole in the left side of his abdomen. He stared up at the pistol-wielding Kubota in disbelief.

"Kubota? Wha - what is the meaning of this?" he stuttered as he staggered backwards, placing a hand over the bleeding wound.

"I am afraid it is not Kubota. Not anymore. And it hasn't been for quite some time," the Viceroy explained as his voice degenerated into a deep and sinister tone.

"Gudis?!"

"Quite correct, Chairman," the even sneakier alien informed him as his one-time associate's eyes began to glow a bright red.

"But that's impossible! Our Nebulan genetic make-up and physiology is immune to any and all bacteria, viruses or illness!" Fumio squealed.

"Indeed, now. Under most circumstances, this is true but my power is beyond what your pitiful little minds can even begin to comprehend. And your arrogance has cost you dearly this day, Mister Subo," Gudis explained.

"Soldiers! Destroy this filth immediately!" Fumio ordered but soon realized that everyone else in the room was also wearing horrid smiles and had glowing red eyes. They were all infected by the Gudis. "For how long?" Fumio asked with anger and contempt.

"Ever since Kubota went to investigate the crashed Garogan fleet that I grounded on my way to Earth."

"But you are supposed to be dead!"

"You know, I keep hearing that an awful lot. Yet, hey! Here I am."

"But why? Why did you wait until now to reveal yourself?"

"Knowledge is power, roach. And as your right hand bug, Kubota possessed much of it."

"But you helped with the reconstruction of Gigan..."

"Of course. I needed something to do. Do you have any idea how boring it got around here? Besides, you gotta admit, the chainsaws are just plain cool. You can't go wrong with chainsaws!" Gudis laughed like a hyperactive child.

"And everything else?"

"Oh, you mean all the other carnage I helped you cause? That was actually a lot of fun. Pain, suffering and misery always are, though. And now that Mothra is out of the way, I don't have to worry about her going all Super Saiyan on me again and pulling some other magic attack out of her butt. As long as it served my purposes and I was having a good time, I went with the flow, so to speak. But the time for that is over. You are no longer of any use to me." He then turned around and started punching a series of buttons on the console to his right.

"What are you doing?"

"Why, programming the self-destruct sequence, of course."

"You can't do that!" Fumio yelled as he started to move toward Kubota who raised his pistol and opened fire as the Nebulan ran out of the room. The Chairman made a desperate attempt to round up what few Nebulans had not been infected and they hastily piled into a shuttle as the Gudis-infected soldiers just watched, waiting for the end to come. Their lives meant less than nothing now, to Gudis or anyone else.

As the shuttle sped away, the Gudis drone that was once Kubota tilted its head back and began to laugh like a maniac as the self-destruct sequence counted down to zero, resulting in a massive explosion. The entire base and the hillside it had been concealed in went up in a plume of flame and smoke. Aboard the shuttle, Fumio tended to his wound as best he could. He had been fortunate. For a human, where he had been shot would have been fatal but his Nebulan biology was a different matter altogether and thus, it was a survivable injury.

NEBULAN DEPARTURE

"The self-destruct sequence has been activated, but why?!" A Nebulan officer shouted as several others began to panic. Kubota realized immediately what was happening.

"The Chairman has failed... and so have we." He closed his eyes and a moment later, the entire base went up in a magnificent explosion.

GUDIS LIVES

"The Nebulans were responsible for that and much more. The framing of the Simeons, the nuclear attack on Mothra and the GOTENGO's sabotage. Another terrible truth is now revealed from this as well. The Gudis still lives," Hector added, much to the mortification of all.

"The Gudis infiltrated and overran the Nebulan base, destroying it and forcing Fumio and a few uninfected Nebulans to flee. It was then that they came to Seatopia in desperation and tried to take control of Megalon. Their plans were thwarted but at a terrible price..." Hector trailed off as he hung his head. Angelique, who had been standing behind his seat since her formal introduction to the UWP, placed her hand on his shoulder in an attempt to comfort the distraught Prince. He gently took it and stood up, his head held high.

"But now is not the time for mourning. Now, more than ever, we must have unity and solidarity. Our alliance must stand strong in defiance of everything that now threatens this world. The Nebulans are gone but there is still the Gudis, the invasion of America and possibly other unknown threats that yet await us. I say that we learn from this tragedy and repel the invaders with everything we have!" Hector declared, wiping a tear from his cheek. He then stepped forward, stretching out his and Angelique's right arms with their open palms down. "What say you all?"

NEBULAN VIEWPOINT

Chairman Fumio walked into the control center. "What is the status of the rocket now?" he asked. Several Nebulan officers offered him statistics on the situation. Along with Kubota and Earth's top governmental officials, they watched as a magnified image of the capsule was shown to be quickly heading for Earth on every screen.

"What do we do now?" asked the Japanese Prime Minister.

"Nothing," replied Fumio, walking across the room with his head hanging. "We did not anticipate so much attention would be given to the rocket once it reached space." He slammed his fist down onto a computer console in frustration. "We should have given it greater protection! How could we have been so stupid!?"

"That is what I would like to know," Doctor Kenji Kamaiya scowled. "You reassured us that you had prepared for such a development."

"Doctor Kamaiya, that is enough! It was simply human error," the Prime Minister berated him.

No, it was not Fumio thought to himself as he walked away from the crowd to another control room.

"What will happen now?" asked General Aso.

"Isn't it obvious?" the kaijuologist grunted. "Godzilla will head back to Japan and destroy us."

"That is assuming, of course, that the impact doesn't kill it first," smirked Kubota.

"And why, of all things, would it kill him?" Kenji wondered.

"It's going to hit!" shouted a Nebulan. Fumio had returned and was facing the monitors to see the fateful moment of truth. Suddenly, the rocket impacted and the telescreens went blank from the blinding flash of light that destroyed the remote cameras. The room was silent as everyone's attention remained fixed on the monitors. Unmoving, they watched and waited. Suddenly, through the speakers they heard a familiar roar. The Prime Minister uttered a sigh of desperation.

"God help us."

GIGAN VS MEGALON

Gigan stood before what was once the Nebulan base, only now it was just a smoking crater. He had just returned from his inspection of the island Mothra had been lured to but found no traces of her so he assumed that she had been disintegrated and returned to his home base. But it wasn't there anymore.

"They are all dead," a voice suddenly spoke in kaiju-speak behind him. Gigan turned to see Megalon standing there.

"What did you do?!" Gigan accused him.

"I have done nothing. The Gudis is responsible for this."

"You lie!"

"Do I? Your foolish Chairman attempted to take control of me using the telepathic headband that the Seatopian nobles use to communicate with me. For the brief moment that we were linked, his mind became an open book to me."

"So you know everything, huh? I guess there's no use in even pretending to be allies anymore..."

"Indeed. Your deceit is now clear."

"Then I guess I will just have to kill you."

"You can try..."

"Oh, come on! Look at you! You're in no condition to challenge me!"

"Maybe not... But I think you will find that this old dog still has a few tricks." The two kaiju assumed fighting stances as they stared one another down. Gigan's chainsaws came on at top speed. Likewise, Megalon's drills began to spin until they became a blur. The monsters leaped at one another and their blades clanged together again and again in an incredible display that would have made even the most jaded swordsman proud. Each dealt a series of swings that pushed the other back as the tide of battle shifted back and forth as each tried to topple the other.

Gigan soon got fed up with their sparring and blasted Megalon with his eye beam, putting him down. Megalon had to bring his drills up to hold back Gigan's spinning chest saw as the Nebulan construct tried to land on top of him. He unloaded his own firepower as his horn beam and napalm pods drove Gigan back. Megalon charged in, clocking Gigan to the side of his head with his right drill but as he went down, his claw tail lashed out, punching Megalon in the face. Gigan then quickly barrelled into his opponent as they cleaved through a good portion of the forest before Megalon was pinned down. Gigan then tried to bring his chainsaws down on top of him but Megalon blocked them with his drills as the two combatants pushed against one another.

Megalon flipped Gigan over the top of himself and followed through, trying to penetrate his skull with his right drill while he was still on the ground. Gigan dodged and kicked Megalon in the face as he sprang back up and swung his left chainsaw downward at the rolling guardian but missed. It dug into the earth and Megalon capitalized, hitting Gigan with an uppercut, followed by a shoulder tackle as they both went rolling across the ground.

As both kaiju rose, Gigan advanced quickly and Megalon had to fend off strikes from the chainsaws, as well as Gigan's claw tail as he quickly got backed up by the fearsome onslaught. But Megalon evened things up with a point-blank napalm blast that knocked Gigan backward. As he fell, he blasted a hillside above and rocks and other debris came down on him from behind, causing him to stagger forward. Rebounding, Gigan darted back in, spear-tackling his adversary as they both crashed into the hillside.

"Face it. You are over the hill, bug! You ain't got what it takes anymore!" Gigan grunted as he heaved back to punch his left saw right into Megalon's face. He ducked and rolled out behind him as the saw got embedded in the ground. When Gigan finally yanked it free, he saw Megalon's feet flying straight at him and a missile drop-kick got planted directly into his face, smashing him hard against the hillside.

As Gigan got up, he took a combination of pods and beams to the face and chest, followed by a double-drill backhand swing that knocked him head over heels. Megalon quickly straddled Gigan as he reared back his right spinning drill, preparing to punch it through his head but Gigan's tail reached up from behind and grabbed hold of the back of Megalon's head. The powerful claw picked him up and slammed him head first down into the ground but this played into Megalon's abilities as he burrowed into the earth. Gigan looked all around him, wondering where his enemy would reappear.

He got his answer as Megalon exploded up directly beneath him and Gigan was pulled down into the ground as both of them disappeared from sight. The ground quaked and rumbled as the battle continued deep below but which combatant was superior in that environment became obvious as Gigan literally got punched back up into the air. He landed backwards on his head and fell over onto his belly. Megalon then emerged from the hole and moved in. In desperation, Gigan launched his boomerang razor discs but Megalon dodged one and deflected the other with one of his drills. He blasted Gigan in the face with his horn beam, putting him down again.

"What was the term you used? I believe it was... over the hill?" Megalon asked as the two razor discs returned. One sliced across his left arm while the other hit his right leg, slicing the tendons as he fell to one knee. The discs flew back into their respective compartments in Gigan's collar bone.

"Yep, that was it. And I think it still holds," Gigan gloated as he nailed Megalon with his eye beam, plowing him through the hillside they had fought upon earlier and out the other side. Megalon tried to clear the cobwebs but Gigan was quickly standing over him.

"Too bad I couldn't have fought you when you were in your prime. I bet that would have been a lot of fun," Gigan taunted as he raised his right saw, preparing to chop Megalon's head off. But suddenly, he got blasted from behind. As he staggered forward, Megalon capitalized on this by goring his combined drill up into his chest. Gigan's chest saw and upper torso were torn asunder.

In desperation, he tried to use his arm saws but Megalon, still in a kneeling position, pushed upwards against them with his spinning drills. As the two shoved against one another with everything they had, Gigan's saws shattered and exploded under the strain as Megalon lashed out with a double backhand swing that cleaved Gigan's face off. The tail claw reached around to snap at him but got a drill smashed into it, severing it from the rest of the appendage.

Gigan had been beaten. Megalon slumped back down as he looked over to see a badly burned and mutilated Queen Mothra hovering nearby. "Thank you for your assistance. Are you all right?" he asked her.

"I will be with a little more time. With Biollante's DNA now a part of me, I have the power to regenerate even the most terrible of injuries."

"That is good. The Nebulans are responsible for that but they have been dealt with. They must have thought that the nuclear bomb would be too much for you to handle."

"It was no picnic, that's for sure! What matters now is that we are both still alive," she stated as she hovered over him.

"What are you doing?" Megalon asked as she slowly began flapping her wings.

"I am going to try to heal you."

"But I am not a warrior of Gaia. Will it work?"

"I don't know. All I do know is that you are as much a defender as I am and your aura is pure so I am going to try." Golden glowing pollen fluttered down off of her wings and onto Megalon's body. As it covered him, his wounds began to heal and seal up. Even ancient scars like his lost eye from decades ago were repaired. He rose up, feeling the kind of strength he possessed when he was young, completely and totally rejuvenated.

"It worked! I can't believe it!"

"I am glad. If anyone in this struggle deserves Gaia's blessing, it is you, my friend," Mothra chirped happily.

"How can I ever thank you? ...For so much?" the noble Seatopian guardian asked his wondrous benefactor.

"By carrying on the battle, fighting the good fight as long as life on this planet is threatened." Of that there would be no doubt, he promised her.

"Now if you will excuse me, I must rest and finish my regeneration. Fare thee well, Megalon. Until we meet again," she called out as she flew off into the distance. He watched her go and then roared at the sky above. He now had the strength of his prime and would indeed use it to protect his people and this world from whatever assailed it as long as there was still a breath in his body.